The attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice Abubarkar Malami (SAN) announced last week that the £4.2 million which is expected to arrive Nigeria next week would be used for the construction of the second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano road and Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and would not returned to the Delta State government from where it was pilfered.
This has generated reactions from the House of Representatives as the minority leader, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta), led some members of the opposition political parties to oppose the move and ensure that the recovered money is not used without parliamentary approval.
This is similar to what happened in 2018 during the 8th House of Representatives when the lawmakers passed a resolution to probe the use of recovered funds from $5 billion public revenue allegedly kept abroad by military Head of State, late Gen. Sani Abacha, who ruled Nigeria between 1993 and 1998.
The Yakubu Dogara-led House of Representatives went ahead to set-up an ad-hoc committee to ensure that the last tranche of the recovered funds was not used without parliamentary approval.
However, as similar as the two cases seem, there are obvious differences; Abacha served as Head of State while Ibori served as governor and couldn’t have had access to federal government funds.
Although Ibori violated the federal government’s anti-money laundering law and the Delta State government was not involved in the process of recovery, the stolen money which would have either been appropriated to Delta State or generated as IGR should not be subjected to appropriation by the federal lawmakers.
PAC Sets-up Committee To Review Supreme Court Judgment
The decision of the chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Oluwole Oke, to raise a micro-committee made up of lawyers in PAC to review a judgment of the Supreme Court on the legality of the NNPC to deduct its running cost and remit net value to the federation account is not only lousy but laughable.
The micro-committee, according to Oke, will examine the NNPC Act alongside the provisions of Section 88, 81 of the Constitution as well as the position of the Supreme Court and the AGF.
Whatever the outcome of Oke’s micro-committee maybe, the Supreme Court is infallible because its position is final.
Therefore, the issue is beyond Oke and his committee, the legal team of the National Assembly should either approach the Supreme Court for a review of that judgement or the lawmakers should amend the law.