Malami Asks Civil Groups To Monitor FG’s Usage Of Recovered Abacha Loot

Abacha

 

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has called on civil society organisations and Nigerians generally to be involved in monitoring how recovered Abacha’s loot will be used by the Federal Government.

The Minister said it is important for Nigerians to be involved in the monitoring of the usage of the recovered fund in the implementation of the key infrastructure projects that will greatly enhance road transportation in Nigeria.

Malami made this known after the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Government of Jersey and the United States of America signed a tripartite agreement on the recovery of over $300m looted funds.

READ ALSO: New Abacha Loot To Fund Three Infrastructure Projects

This is contained in a statement issued by Dr Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and made available to journalists on Tuesday.

According to the statement, Malami signed the agreement on behalf of the Nigerian government while the Solicitor General and Attorney General-designate of Jersey, Mark Temple QC signed the Agreement on behalf of Jersey. The Deputy Assistant Attorney Brian Benczkowski announced the agreement on behalf of the United States.

In his address during the signing, Malami said that the “agreement has culminated in a major victory, for Nigeria and other African countries as it recognises that crime does not pay and that it is important for the international community to seek for ways to support sustainable development through the recovery and repatriation of stolen assets.”

He noted further that “Without the commitment of the three parties to the Agreement (Nigeria, Jersey and the United States) and that of the legal experts and Attorneys representing Nigeria, it would have been impossible to achieve the success recorded today.”

Malami, also stated that the government of Nigeria has committed that the assets will support and assist in expediting the construction of three major infrastructure projects across Nigeria: the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway, Abuja – Kano Road and the Second Niger Bridge.

He also called for greater cooperation and mutual respect amongst countries in the implementation of expeditious cooperation measures already set out in the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and in the implementation of the Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) principles on the repatriation of stolen assets.

“The Nigerian government, in consultation with the other parties, will also engage Civil Society Organisations, who have expertise in substantial infrastructure projects, civil engineering, anti-corruption compliance, anti-human trafficking compliance, and procurement to provide additional monitoring and oversight,” Malami added.

According to a joint press statement on the agreement issued by the government of three countries, the Federal Government is to establish a Monitoring Team to oversee the implementation of the projects and to report regularly on progress.

The recovered funds according to the US Missions were laundered through the US banking system and then held in bank accounts in Jersey in the name of Doraville Properties Corporation, a BVI company, and in the name of the son of the former Head of State of Nigeria, General Sani Abacha.

In 2014 a U.S. Federal Court in Washington DC forfeited the money as property involved in the illicit laundering of the proceeds of corruption arising in Nigeria during the period from 1993 to 1998 when General Abacha was Head of State.

ICYMI: FG To Disburse Recovered $322m Abacha Loot To Poor Nigerians

Abacha
General Sani Abacha ruled Nigeria with an iron fist from 1993 until his death in 1998. He is believed to have embezzled up to $2.2 billion during that time.

 

The Federal Government says it will disburse the recovered $322.5m Abacha loot to 302 poor households in 19 states, starting from July.

This will be done as part of the government’s Social Investment Programmes which aims to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.

The government expects to make the payments to poor households in installments in order to avoid logistic obstacles.

“Nobody is going to give anybody any cash; it is going to be through an electronic payment system which we want CSOs (civil society organisations) to verify,” the Special Assistant to the President on Justice Reform, Juliet Nwagwu, said at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday.

Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, had first disclosed in April 2018, that that the government planned to use the funds for the social investment programme.

It is expected to help beneficiaries cope with their basic challenges, including health and education challenges.

FG To Close 2017 Budget With N1.5trn Excess Capital Spending – Adeosun
Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun

 

The money is part of an estimated $2.2 billion looted by military dictator General Sani Abacha, who ruled Nigeria with an iron fist from 1993 until his death in 1998.

Originally deposited in Luxembourg, the $322.5 million was confiscated by a Swiss court in late 2014 and in March last year the two states signed an agreement on its repatriation.

“In accordance with policy on repayment of national assets taken illegally, Switzerland has agreed with Nigeria and the World Bank to return nearly US$321 for the benefit of the Nigerian people,” the Swiss government said in a statement early in December 2017.

The Nigerian government acknowledged the receipt of the looted funds in a special account later that month.

The return of the funds was supported and supervised by the World Bank, which will also help monitor the disbursement of the funds to the poorest Nigerians.

How We Recovered $9m From Andrew Yakubu’s House – EFCC Witness

EFCC_IkuforijiThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Tuesday opened its case in the of a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporaton, Mr Andrew Yakubu.

The EFCC opened its case by calling one of its investigative officers, Mr Tamiu Abubakar, as the first witness.

During his testimony, Mr Abubakar gave details of how the anti-graft agency recovered over $9m and £74,000 from Mr. Yakubu’s house in Kaduna.

According to the witness, sometime in February this year, the Kano zonal office of the EFCC received information that there was a house in Sabon Tsah, Kaduna State where a huge sum of money suspected to be proceeds of corruption was being kept.

Mr. Abubakar said when the house was raided, a safe was recovered from the premises in which the stated sum of money was found.

He told the court that after the money was counted, the legal unit of the EFCC applied and obtained an interim forfeiture order, which led it to keep the money in the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s office in Kano State.

Following his testimony, Justice Ahmed Mohammed adjourned the case till May 24 for the cross examination of the witness.