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Activists demand Okonjo-Iweala’s prosecution for alleged abuse of office

21 December 2015, 12:05Lekan Oladeinde

Abuja - A group of Nigerian activists, Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), has delivered to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), a petition calling for the prosecution of the immediate past Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala for abuse of office and contravention of institutional procedures for public office holders while in office, reports Premium Times.

Members of group in the petition written to the Bureau bemoaned the manner with which the former Coordinating Minister of the economy handed the recovered late Sanni Abacha loot to those alleged to have misused it .

The group in petition signed by its chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju is demanding the prosecution of Okonjo-Iweala for abusing her office as Finance Minister by illegally transferring the said funds to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

Okonjo-Iweala had confirmed that she approved the transfer of $322 million Abacha loot to the former National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki to prosecute the fight against Boko Haram.

Also read: Okonjo-Iweala rebuffs latest links to arms deal

Okonjo-Iweala had in a letter dated January 20, 2015 and addressed to former President Goodluck Jonathan, sought his approval for the funds to be disbursed to the ONSA for procurement of arms to fight the Boko Haram insurgency. 

But members of group in the petition noted that since the said funds were not appropriated by the National Assembly before being transferred for use, the disbursement was illegal and unlawful.

The activists noted that what transpired was a clear case of abuse of powers and breach of provisions of Code of Conduct for public officers.

They stated that if the former minister had followed due process in the transfer of the funds by seeking the approval of the National Assembly, the country would have been saved from this huge mess, where thousands of Nigerians have and are still losing their lives and have become displaced in their own country due to the terrorist activities.

“As the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, it behooves her to ensure that transfer of the said funds was carried out according to established laws and to also ensure that they were properly utilized.”

Dasuki is currently facing various charges of misappropriating the sum of $300million and £5.5 million meant for the purchase of arms and ammunitions to enable the military combat the insurgency orchestrated by Boko Haram. 

The former minister was also accused of misleading Nigerians with false information on the utilization of the said fund.

The activists noted that Okonjo Iweala on several occasions stated that the funds were spent on road constructions, power generation, schools and other developmental projects across the country

Okonjo Iweala has been under attack, mainly from Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole for allowing expenditure without authorisation.

- News 24


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