President Buhari, Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, and N30 Trillion Gone “Missing”

PIC.25. PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN (R) WITH THE CORDINATING MINISTER OF ECONOMY/MINISTER OF FINANCE, DR NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA DURING A MEETING OF THE ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT TEAM ON ABUJA ON TUESDAY (4/12/12)
(L) Former President Goodluck Jonathan, with former Finance Minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala during an economic management meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, April 2012. Photo/Royal Times Nigeria.

Due to high level of maturity exhibited by former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan during Nigeria’s last presidential campaign, President Muhammadu Buhari vowed not to probe him for any financial misgivings while executing his plans to address corruption in the country.

President Buhari, pledged his commitment to tackle corruption, after taking his oath, as the first agenda in his administration. He promised not to spare any member of the All Progressive Congress (APC) who partook in any form of corruption during the last regime. However, President Goodluck Jonathan would not be probed during the process.

With Jonathan assisting in the first peaceful democratic presidential exchange in Nigeria’s history, Buhari not only said Jonathan would not be probed but praised him for his peaceful departure, which gave the nation far more credibility. Buhari was warmly congratulated by Jonathan when the results of the election were released.

However, the judgment pronounced by Justice Ibrahim Buba at the Federal High Court, on Friday, in Lagos, now seems to break Buhari’s promise to the former president as Jonathan’s administration was ordered to provide analysis on the spending of N30 trillion that has not been accounted for.

According to AllAfrica.com “former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has instructed her lawyers to take steps to set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court, ordering her to provide information on the spending of an alleged “missing” N30 trillion accruing to the government when she was a minister. The judgment was delivered following a Freedom of Information Act request in Suit number FHC/L/CS/196/2015 filed by a non-governmental organization, Social Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).”

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was obviously a major cabinet member, but the former minister of finance was not empowered by law to allocate funds without the consent of the Federal Government’s then President Jonathan.

The impact of this investigation launched by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), will either tarnish the reputation of Goodluck Jonathan, or give him an opportunity to prove his innocence in the mismanagement of the government’s budget that many analysts deem as a catalyst to creating a dire need for economic infusion in the country presently.