House of Representatives yesterday agreed to carry out a thorough investigation into the public funds and assets recovered from 1999 till date.
The House, therefore, mandated its Committee on Public Accounts to probe what the funds and assets were used for with a view to reporting on the status of the funds.
The resolution of the House followed a motion titled ‘Need to Ascertain the Status of Recovered Public Funds’ sponsored by Hon. Segun Adekola.
In his lead debate, Adekola expressed concern on the recent statement by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had so far recovered more than $2 trillion (over N400 trillion at the current rate) looted from the national treasury in its 12 years of existence.
Adekola said further recoveries had been made by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons , NAPTIP, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, and Department of State Services, DSS, in addition to the huge amounts of money returned by those who at various times entered into plea-bargain with the EFCC.
The lawmaker pointed out that for many years now, successive governments had continued to take possession of billions of dollars of looted public funds returned from various parts of the world, with Switzerland returning a higher percentage of the amounts.
While saying that there was confusion as to the exact amount that had been recovered and what happened to it, he observed that successive governments had not been transparent regarding their management or spending of recovered public assets.
In his contribution, minority leader of the House, Hon. Leo Ogor stressed that the over $2 trillion said to have been recovered by the EFCC was supposed to be paid into the country’s statutory account.
The House further urged the government to set out clear rules on how recovered funds should be utilised and ensure strict accountability in its disbursement in line with extant laws and national priorities.
The lower chamber also mandated the Committee on Financial Crimes to investigate whether any crimes might have been committed in the course of the management and disbursements of the recovered funds in the last 12 years.
The committee was given three months to submit its report.

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