How Jonathan, Nigeria’s Ex-Finance Minister Okonjo-Iweala Illegally Diverted N61.4 billion Abacha Loot To Former NSA, Sambo Dasuki

The immediate past Minister of Finance, Ngozi
Okonjo-Iweala, illegally approved the transfer
of at least N61.4 billion ($300 million and
£5.5 million) from funds recovered from late
dictator, Sani Abacha, to the Office of the
National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, few
weeks to the 2015 presidential election,
PREMIUM TIMES authoritatively report today.
The former Minister signed off on the transfer
but then closed her eyes to how the funds
were spent, requesting then President
Goodluck Jonathan to directly demand
accountability from Mr. Dasuki, according to
documents seen by the newspaper.
The funds were never appropriated before they
were transferred, a clear violation of Nigeria’s
fiscal responsibility law.
Mr. Dasuki, alongside the former governor of
Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa and founder
of DAAR communications, owners of Africa
Independent Television and Raypower radio
network, Raymond Dokpesi, are being
investigated for their roles in the disbursement
of $2.1 billion and N643 billion meant for the
procurement of arms to fight the raging
insurgency in Nigeria’s north east region.
The recovered Abacha loot are funds returned
to the Nigerian government from monies
stolen from the country’s treasury by Mr.
Abacha.
The late dictator stole an estimated $5 billion
from Nigeria and the money is being returned
in tranches after agreement with countries
such as Switzerland and the United States. So
far $700 million has been repatriated from
Switzerland.
It is not clear whether these funds in question
were part of the arms procurement funds for
which Mr Dasuki is being investigated.
But a letter signed by Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, seen
by PREMIUM TIMES, showed that 50 per cent
of the recently recovered Abacha loot was
allotted for “urgent security need” such as the
procurement of arms and ammunition while
the other half was set aside to be used for
development purposes.
The letter, dated January 20, 2015, which was
addressed to Mr Jonathan revealed that the
money was transferred following a January 12,
2015 request by the office of the NSA under
Mr Dasuki for funds for the procurement of
arms and ammunition as well as intelligence
equipment.
“Please find a request by the National Security
Adviser (NSA) for the transfer of $300 million
and £5.5 million of the recovered Abacha
funds to an ONSA [Office of the National
Security Adviser] operations account,” the
letter read.
“The NSA has explained that this is to enable
the purchase of ammunition, security, and
other intelligence equipment for the security
agencies in order to enable them fully confront
the ongoing Boko Haram threat.
“His request is sequel to the meeting you
chaired with the committee on the use of
recovered funds where the decision was made
that recovered Abacha funds would be split
50-50 between urgent security needs to
confront Boko Haram and development need
(including a portion for the Future Generations
window of the Sovereign Wealth Fund),” Mrs
Okojo-Iweala wrote.
She added that the letter was to seek Mr
Jonathan’s approval for the funds to be
disbursed to the ONSA. The former minister
further explained that the money being
transferred formed part of the Federal
Government Independent Revenue.
However, instead of insisting on overseeing
how the disbursed funds were spent, as the
country’s chief financial officer, she abdicated
her responsibility, expecting and asked Mr
Dasuki to account directly to Mr Jonathan.
“This letter is to seek your approval to borrow
these funds, for now, to disburse to the NSA.
These funds form part of the projected Federal
Government Independent Revenue, to be
appropriated, in the light and for
accountability, given the peculiar nature of
security and intelligence transactions, we
would expect the NSA to account to Your
Excellency for the utilisation of the funds,” she
concluded.
In a January 30, 2015 letter, Mr. Jonathan
approved the transfer.

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