$27m Vanishes from Nigerian embassy in the U.S.
From Adetutu Folasade-Koyi, Abuja
Transform Nigeria Movement also noted that the content of a correspondence between the bank and the embassy which was made public, made it clear that the accounts of the embassy with the bank, including the one containing the proceeds of the sale of the embassy property had been drawn down to barely $400,000.
"Since March 2012, there has not been any explanation of what happened to the millions of dollars that were realised from the sale of the embassy properties in the US, which were in the bank account at the time Ambassador Adefuye assumed office as the ambassador to Washington."
The organization also referred the president of the Senate to a probe by the National Assembly in 2009 which bordered on the appropriation of $3 million directly from the embassy account in Washington, being proceeds from a similar transaction.
Furthermore, TNM argued that it was disturbing that a much larger amount had disappeared from the embassy account in Washington without any questions being asked.
"The least the government should do is to come out and explain what happened to these funds. To remain silent is really an option you do not have. You have seen your own generation how the issue of the $12 billion oil windfall has refused to go away from the consciousness of Nigerians.
"Why then would you leave another set of funds to go unanswered for, on your watch? This would be a disservice to the National Assembly and a betrayal of the country. I therefore urge you with the utmost humility and respect to investigate the missing millions of dollars and inform Nigerians of the result of your investigation," it stated.
Shortly before the committee went into a closed session on the matter, the committee chairman told the three former ministers that they would be allowed to say what they know about the missing funds.
Nwagwu added that the committee was determined to unravel the mystery behind the management of the funds.
"We have invited you because of an allegation of embezzlement in our mission in Washington, particularly the sales of property in the US. It was alleged that certain officials have squandered the proceeds of the sales.
"Our job here is to allow you address the committee and tell us what you know about the property sale, management, administration of the accounts while you were in office. The committee has got a petition and we are not taking it on its face value; we want to give the ambassadors a chance to explain their own roles.
"We are not a court of law, we are not going on a trial, we are doing this for posterity and keep the records straight and I am sure most of you will be happy that we have invited you to have the opportunity to clarify the matter," Nwagwu said.