…orders banks, MDAs to cooperate …as FEC observes a minuet silence for late Ekwueme
By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the Audit Committee on recoveries of looted funds and assets by government agencies.
This came as the Federal Executive Council (FEC) chaired by the President also observed a minute silence in honour of ex-President Alex Ekwueme, who died last Sunday night in a London hospital.
The audit committee has three members including Mr. Olufemi Lijadu, Mrs. Gloria Chinyere Bibigha and Mr. Mohammed Nami and was mandated to turn in its reports in four weeks.
Buhari charged the panel to audit accounts holding all recovered loots from inception till April 10th, 2017.
The President said “The gains of our initiatives over the past two and a half years have been very obvious to all Nigerians. This is clear from the level of investigation, prosecution and forfeitures involving both public and private sector officials in the country. The message has therefore been passed loud and clear that never again as a nation are we going to allow the wanton diversion and embezzlement of public funds to private pockets.
“Nigerians will further recall that pursuant to requisite directives, recovered assets are progressively being returned to designated accounts by the anti-graft agencies and other agencies of Government involved with the process.
“In the course of implementing this exercise and given the number of agencies who are concurrently pursuing specialized initiatives and making recoveries for Government, it has become obvious that fundamental gaps still exist in ensuring that the recovered assets are accounted for, and managed in an accurate, transparent and logical manner.
“It was in realization of this and due to our determination to ensure that in pursuing the anti-graft war, we do not create new room for dishonorable conduct by any individual or agency that I directed, earlier in the year, that all agencies should send in detailed reports of all their recovered assets as at March, 2017.
The decision to inaugurate this Audit Committee on the Recovery and Management of Stolen Assets within and Outside Nigeria today is therefore the next step in ensuring that all returns filed by the various agencies are accurate and consistent with actual recoveries made.”
On the one minute silence for Ekwueme, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, formally informed Council members, which included Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, of Ekwueme’s passage and requested that a minute silence be observed in his honour.