By Nwafor Sunday
In response to reported statement by President
Muhammadu Buhari, that former dictator, Sani Abacha,
‘stole close to $1billion’, the Socio-Economic Rights and
Accountability Project (SERAP), Saturday faulted Buhari’s
submission, saying that Abacha stole far more than
The group cited Transparency International report, which
submitted that ‘Abacha may have stolen between $3bn and
$5bn in public money’.
Recall that Buhari had in his article titled “Post-Coronavirus,
Africa’s Manufacturing Moment”, published on
Newsweek.com, said, “Nigeria can now move forward with
road, rail and power station construction in part, under own
resources-thanks to close to a billion dollars of funds stolen
from the people of Nigeria under a previous, undemocratic
junta in the 1990s that have now been returned to our
country from the U.S., U.K. and Switzerland.
“That these friendly nations agreed to return these funds
after so long is testament to the fact that, thanks to our
governance reforms, Nigeria is rightly seen as an
increasingly stable and beneficial place to transact and
Responding to the above, SERAP, said Abacha’s money was
far more than that and asked Buhari to:
1. Clarify this statement
2. Immediately enforce the judgment by Justice M.
Idris ordering his government to publish spending
details on recovered assets by governments since
3. Instruct the Attorney-General and Minister of
Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami to properly respond to
our FoI request on Abacha loot.
Recall also that the federal government had on May 28,
2020, opened technical bids for the monitoring and
implementation of the $311m Abacha loot recently
repatriated to Nigeria from United States and the Bailiwick
READ ALSO: 18 Groups Apply To Monitor How FG Will
Spend $311m Abacha Loot, One Disqualified
Reacting, Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the
federation, said the fund is specially dedicated to the
construction of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Abuja-Kano
road, and the Second Niger Bridge.
SERAP had also, yesterday, called on President Buhari and
Vice-President Osinbajo to use the 5th anniversary of their
government to immediately publish details of their asset
declarations with the Code of Conduct Bureau, and to
instruct ministers and advisers to do the same.
“Without open asset declarations, it will remain difficult to
hold politicians to account, and politicians will continue to
hide high value assets, potential conflicts of interests,
including business deals with companies that have
government contracts, illegal transfers of funds.
“The United Nations Convention against Corruption, which
Nigeria has ratified promotes open asset declarations as a
way for citizens to ensure leaders do not abuse their power
for personal gain, thus promoti ng integrity in politics”, the
group said in a statement.[NewsNaira]
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