No record of $5b Abacha loot, expenditure, government tells SERAP
The Federal Government has told the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that it had “no record of the exact amount of public funds stolen by a former military Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, and the spending of about $5 billion recovered loot for the period between 1999 and 2015.”
The government’s response followed the group’s Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abukabar Malami, SAN and his Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning counterpart, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed.
It had sought “information on the exact amount of public funds stolen by Abacha and details of spending of about $5 billion recovered loot since the return of democracy in 1999.”
According to SERAP, only Malami had acknowledged receipt of the proposals in a correspondence dated February 26, 2020, but which it received March 9.
In the response, the minister had stated: “We have searched our records and the information on the exact amount of public funds stolen by Abacha and how recovered loot was spent from 1999 to 2015 is not held by the ministry.”
“However, a total of $322 million was recovered from Switzerland in January 2018 and the funds were used for social investment projects. Also, $308 million was recovered from the Island of Jersey in collaboration with the United States of America. While awaiting the transfer of the money to Nigeria, it has been designated for the following projects: Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; Abuja-Kano Expressway and the Second Niger Bridge.”