Foreign Affairs Ministry Denies Misappropriating $27m Proceeds From Sale Of US Property

Nigerian_Embassy_Washington_DCThe Foreign Affairs Ministry on Friday denied media reports on the alleged misappropriation of $27 million (N4.3 billion) proceeds from the sale of Federal Government property in Washington DC.

A statement issued by the ministry clarified that $23.5 million (N3.8 billion) was realised from the sale of the three federal government-owned property in Washington DC between 2004 and 2007 and not $27 million as reported.

It said all monies involved in the transaction were duly and completely accounted for and that former president Olusegun Obasanjo duly authorised the sale.

On Thursday, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations conducted a “public hearing’’ to investigate allegations of the embezzlement of $27 million, following a petition by one Daniel Elombah.

The public hearing was attended by Nigeria’s former ambassador to the U.S., George Obiozor; the incumbent, Ade Adefuye and Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the U.N in New York, Joy Ogwu.

The public hearing was, however, held behind closed doors after the Chairman of the Senate Committee, Matthew Nwangwu (PDP-Imo), declared the event open.

The statement by the ministry noted that the “press were not privy to the comprehensive submissions of the three distinguished diplomats.”

“Without prejudice to the findings of the Committee, we reiterate, that the sale of these properties were duly authorised at the highest level and that no fund was ‘missing’ as alleged. We, therefore, urge that patience be exercised as we await the final report of the Senate Committee’s investigation into this issue,” the ministry said in the statement.