Tafa Balogun’s N16bn loot missing
From JAMES OJO, Abuja
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
An avalanche of petitions from Nigerians who wanted to know what happened to the N16 billion recovered from the former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Tafa Balogun has compelled the House of Representatives to summon the Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mrs Farida Waziri.
Chairman of House Committee on Police Affairs, Hon Abdul Ningi disclosed yesterday that the invitation of the two security chiefs became necessary because the committee had been inundated with petitions, alleging that the money had disappeared.
Some of the petitions, he stated alleged that the N16 billion could not be located since 2005 after Tafa agreed to part with the money as part of the conditions for his release.
Ningi said the committee was desirous of unravelling the whereabouts of the money and that Okiro and Waziri were in the best position to explain what happened to the funds recovered from the former Inspector-General of Police.
Tafa, now a free man was disgraced from office by the Nuhu Ribadu-led EFCC. He made a plea bargain to part with some of the loot traced to him as IGP and thus got a lenient jail sentence.
The invitation of Farida Waziri, according to Ningi was germane because it was the commission that prosecuted Balogun and she should know more about the money.
Abdul Ningi confirmed that the committee had written twice to both Okiro and Waziri on the subject, but got no response. Consequently, he said the committee would raise the issue at the plenary session of the House when it resumed after the Easter break. “We don’t just wake up one day to say that we want to know what happen to the money collected back from the former IGP, this committee had been inundated with petitions from the public, who wanted to know what happened to the billions of naira and property recovered from Balogun,” he stated.
Balogun was convicted on charges of corruption in 2005 by the Obasanjo administration and sentenced into six months after a plea bargain to return part of the money.
“When we learnt that both the police and the EFCC could not account for the money, the committee was disturbed and on two occasions, we wrote to the EFCC and the police authority demanding for information, up till now, we have no information on the whereabouts of the money,” he insisted.