The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Tuesday disclosed that the total value of recovered funds and assets by the Federal Government since 1999 is estimated at US$2 trillion dollars.
Dogara made the disclosure in an opening remark at a one-day public hearing by the House Joint Committee on Public Accounts and Finance, chaired by Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers), on "the Status of Recovered Public Funds and Assets Since 1999"
The Speaker equally revealed that the House has mandated its Committee on Financial Crimes to investigate the management and disbursement of the recovered funds in the last 12 years.
"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 the management and disbursement of funds recovered by the Federal Government in the last 12 years," he said.
Represented by the Deputy Chief Whip, Pally Iriase (APC, Edo), the Speaker said the House would not fold its arms and allow confusion trail the recovered funds, adding that the investigation was necessary to ascertain how it was being appropriated "in the interests of transparency and accountability."
In his words, “There are a lot of conflicting reports and claims from various agencies of government concerning the status of the funds and assets recovered from citizens and corporate entities by law enforcement agencies. We cannot fold our arms and allow the confusion continues."
He noted that the investigation was in line with the exercise of the Constitutional powers of the National Assembly in Sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
In his remarks, the Chairman, House Joint Committee on Public Accounts and Finance, Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers), said the core mandate of the Committee was to explore the knotty areas such as "who recovered what, when, how, where they are kept, how much has been spent" among others, to avoid doubts and re-looting.
He said that was necessary because of the government’s claims on the recovered assets had been "conflicting and contradictory."
"Our purpose is to ensure clear rules in the recovered assets and ensure confidence in government and public institutions because government’s stand appears confusing and contradictory," he noted.
He added: "We are to make enquiries about what has been recovered and proper documentation of movable and liquid assets."