Disbanded Obono-Obla panel uncovered NNPC’s $60bn US account – Prosecutor




Prosecutor for the disbanded Okoi Obono-Obla’s Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Mr Tosin Ojaomo has disclosed that the panel prior to its doslution, uncovered an account with about $60 billion, belonging to Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), domiciled in Texas, U.S.

He made the disclosure Wednesday while making submissions before the House of Representatives’ Ad hoc committee on assessment and status of all recovered loots, movable and immovable assets from 2002 to 2020 by agencies of the federal government.

According to him, the panel in similar vein discovered a Polaris Bank account in which $223 million “was kept under the guise of NNPC,s operations account”, which had no link with federal government’s introduced Treasury Single Account (TSA).

The Prosecutor told the committee that it was when the panel was set to beam its searchlights into issues surrounding the Texas Bank account, that its chairman, Mr. Obono-Obla was controversially removed, and the team disbanded, pointing out that the matter was subsequently taken over by Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami.

Briefing the lawmakers on some of the successes recorded by the panel, Ojaomo recalled that the sums of N523 million and Seven million naira were separately recovered for NEXIM Bank, N24 million from the National Theartre, and 86 luxury vehicles, 20 of which were bullet proof from a director in a ministry he declined to name.

Also, he disclosed that efforts of the panel to unravel a reported withdrawal of N10 billion by Auditor General of the Federation, from account of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was frustrated, while the panel successfully exposed the indebtedness of oil royalties to the tune of $1.9 billion by Exxon Mobil, but paid only $600 million to Nigeria 

Also in his submission, Managing Director of the Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund, Mr. Uche Orji told the committee that the agency has recovered $311 million from the government of the United States, £4.2 million from the UK, and €5.5 million from Ireland, stressing that he was not aware if the later two had entered Nigeria.

To get clarification on the development, Chairman of the committee, Hon. Adejoro Adeogun in his ruling directed the secretariat to invite Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Accountant General of the Federation, as well the MD himself for another meeting slated for 2pm today(Thursday).

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