Diversion of $100 Million Abacha Loot: Presidency Issues Strict Warning To All Parties Involved

The Presidency, in its reaction to the report of the alleged attempt by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to hand over about $100 million, stolen by a former Military Head of State, late Gen. Sani Abacha, to the Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu, has advised against any action that would complicate ongoing efforts to recover more stolen money from outside the country.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President, on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, when contacted, said that the Embassy of the United States may be approached for any clarification on the agreement already reached by the three parties.

Shehu, in a text message said: “We have a lot more money to recover oversees, and no one has the right to complicate things for the government of our country.

“The US and the British crown dependency of Jersey, have agreed with the President and government of Nigeria, to repatriate $308 million, connected to General Sani Abacha, the three governments said.

“By a decision of this government, the entire sum will be paid to the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, and will be used in expediting the construction of the three major infrastructure projects across Nigeria, namely Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Abuja-Kano Expressway, and the Second Niger Bridge.

“The position of the Buhari administration is still the same on this. The Embassy of the US, may be approached for any clarification on the agreement already reached by the three parties.”

The report revealed that the Buhari administration stated that a 17-year-old agreement entitles Bagudu to the funds, and prevents Nigeria from assisting the US, according to recent filings from the District Court, for the District of Columbia, in Washington.Hide original message

The disagreement, according to Bloomberg, may hamper future cooperation between Nigeria and the US, to recover money moved abroad by Abacha.

“This case illustrates how complex and contentious repatriating stolen assets to Nigeria can be”, Bloomberg quoted Matthew Page, an Associate fellow, at London-based Chatham House, and former Nigerian Expert for the US Intelligence Agencies, as saying.“Instead of welcoming the US efforts, Nigeria’s Lawyers appear to be supporting the interests of one of the country’s most powerful families”, he added.

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