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SGF/$43.5m Probe: Osinbajo’s panel submits report today

———By Ovasa Ogaga———–

The Osinbajo-led panel investigating the $43.45million found in an Osborne-Ikoyi Lagos apartment and the allegations of corruption against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation, will submit its report today.

The Attorney-General and Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami stated this while speaking to newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, after conferring with President Muhammadu Buhari.

The 3man-committee, headed by the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, also has Malami and the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno as members.

The probe panel has already taken evidence from Ambassador Ayo Oke, the director-general of the National Intelligence Agency, claiming ownership of the money.

He claimed in leaks published by newspapers that the money kept in a private apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos was meant for special covert operations. The money, about $289million was said to have been approved by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The money, which was unappropriated by the National Assembly was withdrawn from NAPIMS, one of the agencies of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporations.

The Committee has also taken evidence from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF,  Engineer David Babachir Lawal on the contract awarded in respect of grass cutting at some IDP camps in the North east of Nigeria.

Malami told newsmen that the report would be submitted to President Buhari on 3 May, adding that the President is worried over the delay in the passage of the Proceeds of Crime Act by the National Assembly (NASS).

According to him, “the President noted that there has not been any expeditious determination on the passage of the anti-graft bill by the NASS.

“It’s a routine briefing of the president as it relates to general issues – the issues that have to do with anti-corruption.

“Mr. President is worried about the anti-corruption bills that are pending before the National Assembly overtime. There has not been any expeditious determination on the passage of the bills and indeed, the asset management agency was also part of the discussion.

“Mr President is worried that the assets that have been gathered over time by the agencies of government and that are responsible for the fight against corruption are scattered all over the place.  Embedded in the Proceeds of Crime Bill is Asset Management Agency which is the agency put in place by the presidency for the purpose of the management of the associated assets that are recovered.

“So, Mr. President is indeed worried and the discussions bothered on how best we can handle it. There are limited issues that relate to the parastatals under the Ministry of Justice,’’ he said.

The Minister said he also briefed the President on the report of the Electoral Reform Committee as well as other pending bills that were presented for the consideration of the Federal Executive Council as they relate to amendment to the electoral process.

He said  the essence of the meeting was to seek the view of the President and “the direction as to what to do next as it relates to the Electoral Reform Committee report that has been submitted and to consider routine processes under the Ministry of Justice’’.

(NAN)

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