Abacha Loot: I secured ex-President Jonathan’s approval-Okonjo-Iweala.
Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo – Iweala has revealed that she released part of the recovered Abacha loot to the embattled former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, on the directives of President Goodluck Jonathan.
In a statement signed by Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, her media aide, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, insisted that she secured the approval of ex-President Jonathan before the funds were transferred noting that the approval followed the recommendation of a committee set-up by former President Jonathan to advise the administration on the way forward.
In a memo dated January 20, 2015, the former finance minister said the release of $300 million and 5.5 million pound Sterling’s respectively followed approval by President Jonathan upon request by the NSA for transfer of funds to facilitate the war against the Boko Haram insurgents.
It was based on recommendation of the Committee, that she personally requested that part of the recovered funds be used for security operations while the rest be channeled to developmental purposes.
She said her decision to release the funds to the ONSA, was sequel to accusations that she was starving the military of funds to prosecute war on terrorism.
Okonjo-Iweala accused Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole “and other powerful and corrupt interests”, of sponsoring a campaign of falsehood against her.
“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” she said.
Governor Oshiomhole had on Wednesday continued his verbal assault on the former Minister of Finance, alleging that the ex-minister only helped the past administration to loot funds.
Oshiomhole who was the guest speaker at a dialogue session that was co-organized by the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, and the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, in Abuja to commemorate the International Human Rights Day, urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to spare the former Minister who he branded “Ali Baba”.
“For example I have read in the newspapers and online, the former Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy saying that she transferred part of the money recovered from Abacha to Dasuki for security purposes” he said.
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