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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Madam Okonjo-Iweala Confesses Her Roles in the Arms Scam

A former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has confessed that she transferred $322million from the looted funds recovered from late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, to the Office of the National Security Adviser for military operations in the North-East.
“The NSA made a case for using the returned funds for urgent security operations, since, she noted, there could not be any development without peace and security. 
“Based on this, a decision was taken to deploy about $322m for the military operations, while the expected $700m would be applied to development programmes as originally conceived."
The ex-minister, in a statement by her Media Adviser, Paul Nwabuikwu, said the transfer of the fund was approved after a committee, set up by Goodluck Jonathan, gave approval for the use of the fund.

She claimed that based on the decision of the committee, she personally requested that part of the recovered fund be used for security operations while the rest be channelled to developmental purposes.

Paul Nwabuikwo explained that as captured in the memo, Okonjo-Iweala insisted that the fund be deployed after satisfying three conditions.

The statement reads in part, “As part of the campaign of falsehood against the former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala by Edo Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, and other powerful and corrupt interests, another baseless story has been published by some online media.

“To achieve their evil propaganda objective of tarnishing her name, these evil elements have distorted the contents of a memo, dated January 20, 2015, in which the former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, responded to a request by the former National Security Adviser, Col. Ibrahim Dasuki (retired), for funds to prosecute the terror war against Boko Haram.

“The central responsibility of the Minister of Finance is to find sources of funding for the financing of approved national priorities such as security, job creation and infrastructure.

“It will be recalled that throughout 2014, there were public complaints by the military hierarchy to President Goodluck Jonathan about the inadequacy of funds to fight the anti-terror war in the North-East, resulting in Boko Haram making gains and even taking territories.

“A lot of the criticism was directed at the Federal Ministry of Finance under Dr Okonjo-Iweala, which was accused of not doing enough to find funds for the operations.”

She added, “It was about this time that some new Abacha funds of about $322m were returned with another $700m still expected to be returned.

“Former President Jonathan set up a committee, comprising the former Minister of Justice, former NSA and the former Minister of Finance to determine how best to use both the returned and expected funds for development.

“Following the discussions and based on the urgency of the NSA’s memo, Dr Okonjo-Iweala requested the President to approve the transfer of the requested amount to the NSA’s Office for the specified purposes.”

There was a report on Wednesday that the former minister diverted N61.4bn from the Abacha loot to the office of the former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).
Talk of re-looting a big lot. That's Nigeria for you.

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