N39bn withdrawal: Reps query Finance Minister, Accountant-General | Dailytrust

N39bn withdrawal: Reps query Finance Minister, Accountant-General

The Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris.

The House of Representatives adhoc committee investigating the status of all recovered loots and assets from 2002 to 2020 Thursday queried  the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed and the Accountant-General  Federation, Ahmed Idris, over the withdrawal of N39bn from an assets’ recovery account domiciled with the Economic Financial Crimes Commission.

The committee’s chairman, Adejoro Adeogun, said the withdrawals were made from an assets’ recovery account in contravention of Sections 80, 81, 82 and 83 of the 1999 Constitution as well as Section 213 of the Financial Regulations Act which stipulate that no money shall be withdrawn from any account of the federation apart from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

The committee queried the basis for the withdrawal of N19bn from an EFCC recovery account for a payment made to the African Development Bank and another N20bn in another transaction.

Idris said there were presidential approvals for such withdrawals, but the committee maintained that the constitution supersedes any presidential approval, adding that due process must be followed at all times.

Ahmed said though there was provision to use recovered looted funds to fund the budget, the right thing was for such funds to be transferred to the Consolidated Revenue Fund before being utilised.

The committee also queried the borrowings made from assets recovery accounts.

It expressed concerns over multiplicity of recovery accounts being maintained by the various agencies and directed that the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, appear on June 3 to address issues of multiple accounts and other anomalies.