“Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Mismanaged Abacha’s Loot Recovered From World Bank” – SERAP
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the office of former finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, over mismanagement of funds.
The body said it’s received documents detailing how the ex minister mismanaged funds recovered from the World Bank which was stolen by ex Head of State, Gen. Sanni Abacha.
A statement by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni on Sunday said,
“SERAP can confirm that last week we received several documents from Ann May of the Access to Information Team of the World Bank following our Access to Information Request to the Bank. We also received a letter dated 24 November 2015 from Mr Rachid Benmessaoud, Director of the World Bank in Africa.”
“Firstly, that Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Minister of Finance in a letter dated 9 January 2005 explained to the Bank that around $500m (N65bn) of Abacha loot received from Switzerland was programmed into and spent in the 2004 and 2005 budgets on roads, electricity, education, water and health across all 6 geo-political zones of Nigeria.
“Secondly, Mrs Iweala explained to the Bank that N18.60bn was spent on roads; N10.83bn spent on health; N7bn spent on education; N6.20bn spent on water; and N21.70bn spent on electricity. She also said that part of the funds were spent on new and ongoing investment projects.
“Given Mrs Okonjo-Iweala’s involvement in the spending of Abacha loot, SERAP calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently probe the role of the Ministry of Finance and relevant federal ministries at the time in the spending of Abacha loot particularly given the strong allegations of mismanagement that characterised the use of the funds,” the organisation said.
“Although Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said that Abacha loot was spent in the 2004 and 2005 budgets on roads, electricity, education, water and health across all 6 geo-political zones of Nigeria, there is no evidence of such projects as millions of Nigerians continue to travel on dead roads, while they continue to lack access to adequate electricity supply, water, health and quality education.
“Therefore, President Buhari can no longer continue to remain silent on this issue of public interest if Nigerians are to continue to trust him in his fight against corruption.”