Abubakar Malamu, SAN, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, ), said on Saturday that the repatriated funds looted by the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, would be used for the development of critical infrastructure in the country.
The minister said this in a statement released by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Gwandu.
According to him, there was no form of agreement to hand over $100m out of the latest tranche of the recovered $300m Abacha loot to the Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, or any third-party interest.
Malami noted that Bagudu is pursuing separate cases in court in the United States and the United Kingdom to assert his right in connection with the Abacha loot.
To him, Nigeria was also cooperating with the United States in the recovery of several other assets, including corruption proceeds linked to former Petroleum Minister Deziani Alison-Madueke and her associates, and former State Governor James Ibori as well as several others.
Malami said the repatriated fund would be used for infrastructural projects as agreed with the foreign countries from which the funds were recovered.
He insisted that the money would be used for projects namely, Abuja-Kano Road, Second Niger Bridge, and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
He described as; “mischievous and pedestrian for anyone to seek to turn the law and the facts on its head on the matter of repatriation whose terms are clearly spelt out and agreed among the parties.”
This long-standing cooperation recently culminated in the successful signing of memorandum of understanding for the repatriation of over $300 million looted assets associated with General Sani Abacha.
It is pertinent to recall at this juncture that prior to the 2020 agreement with the United States and the Island of Jersey, the Federal Government has signed an agreement for the return of over $300 million US Dollars in 2017 which was effectively deployed for the purpose for which it was agreed to be applied without any issue of reputation
The FGN is also negotiating the recovery of assets from several countries and the agreements for the recoveries and the procedure for recoveries are always presented to Federal Executive Council for approval and duly made public once the processes have been concluded.
No third-party interest was captured in the Council memo that was approved by the Council.
The 2017 repatriated funds were deployed to the implementation of the Social Investment program and is being monitored by civil society organisations across the country.
Buhari regime remained committed to the recovery of whatever funds are owed Nigeria and the government in that regard has gone to court in different countries to assert its rights as a victim of corruption in order to have those assets returned to Nigeria.
It is well known that the USA and the Bagudu family have been in court since 2014 over assets already rescinded under the 2003 Agreement.
The matters are to be determined in the United Kingdom and the United States Courts.
The Bagudu family assets in contention, which constitutes a distinct and separate cause of action, does not have anything to do with the assets already recovered and being recovered under the Abacha 2014 non-prosecution agreement.
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