Details of how former co-ordinating minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, approved the sharing of Abacha loot by former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) have emerged.
The details were brought to the fore by an online news platform Premium Times.
In a letter to former President Goodluck Jonathan dated January 20th, the then minister intimated him of a request from the National Security Adviser for the disbursement of funds to acquire weapons to combat Boko Haram. The Minister knew that this request was outside the scope of the law and she disavowed her ministry from having anything to do with the further monitoring of the requested funds upon approval.
“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).”
“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.”
Late General Sani Abacha is estimated to have stolen $5 billion from Nigeria during his brutal military regime in the mid to late 90’s. Some of the money the ex-dictator stashed abroad was returned after intense lobbying and legal action which commenced during the Obasanjo administration.
Under the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007, the President is not allowed to unilaterally approve such expenditure without input from the National Assembly.