The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Tuesday, appeared before the committee investigating the status of recovered loots.
Mr Malami was earlier scheduled to appear before the committee on Monday but failed to show up.
He was invited to appear before the committee alongside others.
Upon his appearance on Tuesday, Mr Malami blamed the non-passage of the crimes bill, an executive bill, which was forwarded to the National Assembly in 2017, for the lack of coordination of the recovered loots.
“When we came in, we realised that there was no legislative framework on recovered loots. We resolved to send a bill to the National Assembly. I regret to state that the legislative framework has not been passed. If the National Assembly had passed the bill, we will not be in this position,” Mr Malami said.
He noted that the existing legislations are “not helpful.”
The Office of the AGF was indicted by the lawmakers for receiving funds from the recovered loots, instead of the Consolidated Revenue Funds.
Adejoro Adeogun, the chairman of the committee, accused Mr Malami of being complicit in the funding of the budget of his office with money from the recovered loots instead of the consolidated revenue.
Mr Adeogun said, “The law is that every revenue should be transferred to the Consolidated Revenue Account. Has the office of the attorney general ever received any fund from the recovered loots account?
Mr Malami responded, “The office of the attorney general has never at any time received any kobo from that account, not even the cost of collection. The office of the attorney general is not a recipient of a dime from the recovered loot.”
He was, however, confronted with evidence that his office solicited and received looted funds.
“I am going to show you a statement of account from the CBN, showing payment to your office on the 20th February 2017,” Mr Adeogun stated.
Mr Malami’s explanation was unable to explain his position satisfactorily to the lawmakers.
However, the Accountant General of the Federation, Idris Ahmed, who was present during the back and forth, came to his aid.
Mr Idris said the attorney general did no wrong, explaining that under the Tertiary Single Account (TSA), all accounts are the same.
According to Mr Idris, the consolidated account and recovered loots are all subsets of the TSA.
The Central Bank of Nigeria, Economic and Finacial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) are billed to appear before the committee on Wednesday
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