Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, a human rights group, has called on President Muhammad Buhari to order the probe of the Ministry of Finance covering the period during which it was headed by Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
The group said it made the call the information given to the World Bank by Okonjo-Iweala on how the repatriated loot from the late military ruler, Gen. Sani Abacha, was spent.
Adetokunbo Mumuni, Executive Director, SERAP said in a statement on Sunday that it had received a 700-page document from the World Bank, wherein Okonjo-Iweala was quoted to have said that the repatriated Abacha loot was spent on roads, electricity, education, health and water between 2004 and 2005 across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The group said Okonjo-Iweala told the World Bank in a letter dated January 9, 2005 that N65bn of Abacha loot was repatriated from Switzerland out of which N10.83bn was spent on health; N7bn on education; N6.2bn on water; and N21.7bn on electricity.
The ex-minister was said to have added that part of the funds were spent on new and ongoing investment projects and that relevant government ministries had the details of the spending.
But SERAP, which claimed that “there is no evidence of such projects, as millions of Nigerians continue to travel on dead roads, while they continue to lack access to adequate electricity supply, water, health and quality education,” said President Muhammadu Buhari must probe Okonjo-Iweala’s involvement in the spending of the repatriated Abacha loot.
The disclosure by the World Bank, according to SERAP, was in response to an access to information request it made to the President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, on September 21, 2015.
The group noted that, apart from the 700-page document it received from Ann May of the World Bank Access to Information Team, it also received a letter dated 24 November 2015 from the Director of the World Bank in Africa, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud.
The group said it is still studying the documents to see if they contain information that Nigerians would like to know.
By Patrick Aigbokhan