By Olusola Balogun:

FG seizes passports of top aides

Fresh troubles may be in the horizon for members of the kitchen cabinet of ailing President Umaru Yar’Adua as they are said to be explaining how they disbursed a whopping N70 billion allegedly on behalf of the former Katsina governor as security vote between November 2009 and January 2010.



Sources claimed that two former close allies of the ailing leader who failed to make it back to the newly reconstituted cabinet by acting President Goodluck Jonathan, are said to be answering questions over the manner the money was spent and for what purpose.

Yar’Adua left the country for Saudi Arabia on November 23,2009 and was spirited back into the country after spending 93 days at King Faisal specialist Hospital where he received treatment for acute pericarditis.
Security sources also added that the passports of the two former Presidential aides have also been impounded.

Although the name of a third top aide of the ailing leader also, allegedly, came up during the investigation into how the money was spent when the President was on sick bed in a Saudi hospital, the source could not confirm whether his passport has equally been seized.
The seizure of the passports, it was learnt, was to frustrate the former key members of Yar’Adua’s cabal “from fleeing the country and compromise efforts by the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to hold some former cabinet members accountable for their deeds while Yar’Adua was away”.

Sources claimed that the two aides were responsible for the disbursement of the money while Aondoakaa also gave endorsement to some of the spending. They, allegedly, disbursed huge sums of money running into billions while Yar’Adua was in Saudi Arabia.
The source said, “ before the budget was signed in December 2009, one of the aides who happens to be a point man to Yar’Adua allegedly spent over N16 billion without recourse to the then Vice President, while the other allegedly gave his consent to the disbursements.

Sources said that while part of the N70 billion went into the fight to sustain the Yar’Adua Presidency during his sojourn in the Saudi Hospital, a huge chunk of it went into private pockets and were salted away into some foreign accounts.

The source added that the missing fund is believed to have been used to fund the unrelenting propaganda embarked on during Yar’Adua’s stay in Saudi Arabia and since he was brought back to Abuja.
Part of the money, it was learnt was also used to sponsor various litigations to challenge the proclamation of Jonathan as acting President.

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