House panel to meet Buhari, Obasanjo, Jonathan over Abacha loot

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The House of Representatives ad hoc panel investigating spending of the ‘Abacha loot’ will meet President Muhammadu Buhari and former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan over the matter, Daily Trust has learnt.

The 11-man panel, constituted last week, would meet Buhari and the former presidents in their residences instead of inviting them to the National Assembly, it was further learnt.

The panel will invite some key government officials, including the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun, to get accurate update on loot recovery and how much has so far been spent on various court processes by the federal government.

The source said since late president Umaru Musa Yar’adua is not alive to testify on the matter, key officials that served in his government would be invited for interaction with the panel.

Headed by Abdulmumin Jibrin (APC, Kano), the panel would conduct enquiry into ‘Abacha loot’ recovery by successive governments from 1998 to date.

The panel will commence its sitting on the matter this week, it was further learnt.

Part of the committee’s mandate is to establish the total recovery made on the loot and the sources.

“The committee will speak with the president (Buhari) and all the former presidents under whose tenure the Abacha loot recovery began.

“But the panel will meet them in their residences. There won’t be anything like summon. The main thrust of the matter is on the role of their administrations in the loot recovery,” the source said.

House spokesman, Abdulrazak Namdas confirmed that the panel will meet with relevant personalities.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara had while constituting the panel last week said it would dig out all recoveries and mode of payments, as well as how the money was disbursed.

The lawmakers had, while adopting a motion by Sunday Karimi (PDP, Kogi), said the sum of $322 million part of ‘Abacha loot’ to be released to Nigeria by the Swiss Government should be paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the federation and be distributed to the federating units using the current sharing formula.

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