No Group Will Illegally Occupy Nigerian Communities Under My Watch- Arase

Solomon Arase, the Inspector-General of Police, on Thursday assured that no group will overrun the country or illegally occupy any part of it under his watch as the chief police officer.

Mr. Arase gave the assurance in Abuja at a public hearing on the influx of herdsmen to Benue, organised by the House of Representatives’ Committee on Police Affairs.

He said the Nigeria Police Force have so far arrested 18 people in connection with the attacks in Benue communities.

“Every life lost diminishes humanity as a whole,” Mr. Arase said. “I have taken an oath to effectively police and protect every security space in Nigeria.

“And I will continue to do that within the ambit of the law and to the best of my ability and that of my officers and men.

“And I make bold to say that the Nigerian State cannot be overrun by hoodlums, I can assure you.”

Mr. Arase said the NPF had developed initiatives to restore normalcy and ensure peace in the state.

“I had a town hall meeting with stakeholders in Benue where each of the parties presented their positions, both verbally and in writing.

“It was a very protracted argument and before leaving, I was able to come up with some strategies on how to mitigate this crisis which I presented to the government of Benue and Nasarawa states,” he said.

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Apologize For Illegally Transferring $322milion Abacha Loot To Dasuki, SERAP Tells Okonjo-Iweala

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked a former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to “apologize to Nigerians for claiming recently that recovered Abacha loot was transparently spent while she knew that $322m (about N63billion) recovered Abacha funds were inappropriately released to finance the fight against Boko Haram.”

SERAP’s statement Thursday followed Mrs Okonjo-Iweala’s confession that she released about $322m to the former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki for military operations.

In a statement by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, SERAP said, “The truth about the spending of Abacha loot is now coming out, and it is clear that Mrs Okonjo-Iweala was wrong to accuse SERAP of bias while she knew that we are simply seeking truth, justice and accountability on the spending of recovered Abacha loot.”

“Mrs Okonjo-Iweala’s approach of ‘no answers, no apology’ on how Abacha loot was spent is doing her reputation more harm than good. We hope that she will take cue from the World Bank (her former employer) when it defined ‘accountability and probity’ as knowing what task has been set, accepting to do it, and going about it with a sense of probity.

“Probity implying the willingness to self-disclose such information to which a specific stakeholder group has a right as well as tolerance of the scrutiny of such a stakeholder group on information to which they have a right,” the organization said.

“We therefore urge her to now come out for the sake of millions of Nigerians living in extreme poverty but also of generations as yet unborn and tell Nigerians the whole story about what exactly happened to recovered Abacha loot, as well as publicly apologize for claiming that Abacha loot was transparently spent. She should be willing to be held to account,” the organization added.

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Report Accuses Okonjo-Iweala For Illegally Approving Sum From Abacha Loot To Dasuki Few Weeks Before Presidential Election

The immediate past Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, illegally approved the transfer of at least N61.4 billion ($300 million and £5.5 million) from funds recovered from late dictator, Sani Abacha, to the Office of the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, few weeks to the 2015 presidential election, Premium Times report.

The former Minister signed off on the transfer but then closed her eyes to how the funds were spent, requesting then President Goodluck Jonathan to directly demand accountability from Mr. Dasuki, according to documents seen by this newspaper.

The funds were never appropriated before they were transferred, a clear violation of Nigeria’s fiscal responsibility law.

Mr. Dasuki, alongside the former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa and founder of DAAR communications, owners of Africa Independent Television and Raypower radio network, Raymond Dokpesi, are being investigated for their roles in the disbursement of $2.1 billion and N643 billion meant for the procurement of arms to fight the raging insurgency in Nigeria’s north east region.

The recovered Abacha loot are funds returned to the Nigerian government from monies stolen from the country’s treasury by Mr. Abacha.

It is not clear whether these funds in question were part of the arms procurement funds for which Mr Dasuki is being investigated.

But a letter signed by Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, seen by Premium Times, showed that 50 per cent of the recently recovered Abacha loot was allotted for “urgent security need” such as the procurement of arms and ammunition while the other half was set aside to be used for development purposes.

The letter, dated January 20, 2015, which was addressed to Mr Jonathan revealed that the money was transferred following a January 12, 2015 request by the office of the NSA under Mr Dasuki for funds for the procurement of arms and ammunition as well as intelligence equipment.

“Please find a request by the National Security Adviser (NSA) for the transfer of $300 million and £5.5 million of the recovered Abacha funds to an ONSA [Office of the National Security Adviser] operations account,” the letter read.

Credit: PremiumTimes