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What has become of Nigeria’s recovered loots? Lawmakers investigate

Members of Nigeria’s lower legislative house may have began an inquest into how huge sums of money stolen from Nigeria but recovered and returned to the country is being managed

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Members of Nigeria’s lower legislative house may have began an inquest into how huge sums of money stolen from Nigeria but recovered and returned to the country is being managed. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, gave an indication in this development recently.

Speaking at a public hearing by the House Joint Committee on Public Accounts and Finance on the need to ascertain the status of recovered Public funds and assets from 1999 to date, Dogara informed that lawmakers were bent on investigating the confusion that has trailed the exercise.

“It is common knowledge that there are a lot of conflicting reports and claims from various agencies of government concerning the status of the funds and assets recovered from some citizens and corporate entities by law enforcement agencies. As a Parliament, we cannot fold our arms and allow the confusion trailing the whereabouts of the recovered funds and assets to continue.

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This is why the House of Representatives resolved to mandate this Joint Committee to investigate the issue in the interest of accountability and transparency.”

He added, “We believe that as a Parliament, we owe the people of Nigeria the duty to ascertain the resources available to government and how they are being appropriated in their interest. This is in line with the exercise of our Constitutional powers in Sections 88 and 89 of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999 as amended.”

The total value of recovered funds and assets is estimated at $2trillion and the House has also mandated its Committee on Financial Crimes to investigate whether any crimes have been committed in the course of the management and disbursement of funds recovered by the Federal Government in the last 12 years.

Politics

Like Mali, Burkina Faso junta suspends France’s RFI radio over broadcast of militant speech

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West African country, Burkina Faso, has gone the way of its neighbour, Mali, as its ruling junta has suspended the broadcast of France’s RFI radio.

The suspension comes after what the junta said were false reports and giving voice to Islamist militants, a statement from the government said on Saturday.

According to a statement by the radio station, “RFI strongly deplores this decision and protests against the totally unfounded accusations calling into question its professionalism,” State-owned Radio France Internationale, usually referred to as RFI.

The statement added that the decision to suspend its broadcasting was made without prior notice and without the implementation of the procedures put in place by Burkina Faso’s communications regulator.

The ruling junta which came into power in a recent coup in September accused the RFI also repeated a press report – which it denied – that Burkina Faso’s President Captain Ibrahim Traore, who seized power in a coup in September, had said there had been an attempted coup trying to unseat him.

Burkina Faso’s neighbour, Mali, under military reign, suspended broadcasts by French state-funded international news outlets RFI and France 24 amid accusations of reporting “false allegations”.

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Politics

Tunisian labour union, UGTT threatens political disruption as elections draws near

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As the North African country, Tunisia braces up for elections, labour union, UGTT has threatened not to disrupt proceedings under the current political arrangement.

UGTT attacked president Saied political and economic agenda on Saturday, including the elections scheduled for this month. The union said that it will no longer accept what it called a threat to democracy in its clearest challenge to him yet.

UGTT’s leader Noureddine Taboubi said in a speech to thousands of supporters, the union will ” no longer accept the current path because of its ambiguity and individual rule, and the unpleasant surprises it hides for the fate of the country and democracy.”

“We will not hesitate to defend rights and freedoms whatever the cost,” he added, in his strongest criticism yet of the president.

“We will not abide by secret agreements the government has with the International Monetary Fund and the workers will stand up to it,” Taboubi said.

Taboubi said the December election would “have no colour and taste” as a result of Saied’s constitution and that the vote lacked national unanimity.

President Kais Saied hinted that the country will not accept foreign observers for the planned elections for later this year.

There have been protests for and against president Saied’s approach to governance of the Tunisian public.

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