Special presidential panel recovers N6.5b loot

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The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) says it has recovered over N4 billion and seven million dollars (N2.5billion), loot as well as physical assets in its various operations.

SPIP Chairman, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday.

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Obono-Obla said the seven million dollars was recovered from the previous management of the Nigeria Export and Import (NEXIM) Bank who had “illegally placed” it in Heritage Bank.

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The naira component of the recoveries, according to him, include N533 million and land valued at N1.5 billion also from the former NEXIM management.

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The assets, according to him, have since been returned to the bank.

Obono-Obla said SPIP also recovered N24 million misappropriated by some directors of the National Theatre, and two hectares of land worth N2 billion, belonging to the National Council for Acts and Culture.

Also recovered is part of the Agura Hotel belonging to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), according to the chairman.

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“The property illegally annexed by some so-called powerful persons with untouchable connections for over 20 years, have since been returned to the NPA.

“The panel is investigating the failure of a contract awarded to a company to dredge Calabar Channel, after the company had received 12 million dollars,” he said.

Obono-Obla said the panel also recovered 86 assorted vehicles valued at N500 million from a director in the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

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“Other assets recovered from him are six houses in highbrow areas of Abuja and a large farm also in Abuja,” he said.

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Reaffirming the panel’s commitment to its mandate, Obono-Obla advised public servants to desist from converting official property to personal use.

The SPIP was inaugurated by the then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo in August, 2017.

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