The Federal Government has confirmed the receipt of approximately three hundred and eleven million dollars of the Abacha loot from the United States of America and the Bailiwick of Jersey.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, confirmed this in a press release issued by the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr Umar Gwandu.
Following the interest the fund accrued from February 3, 2020 to April 28, 2020, when it was transferred to the Central Bank of Nigeria, the amount increased from $308 million mentioned in the press release issued in February, 2020, to over $311million.
The Attorney-General noted that the litigation process for the return of these assets titled “Abacha III” commenced in 2014 while the diplomatic process that culminated into the signing of the Asset Return Agreement on February 3, 2020, by the Governments of Nigeria, United States of America and the Bailiwick of Jersey commenced in 2018.
This agreement is based on international law and cooperation measures that sets out the procedures for the repatriation, transfer, disposition and management of the assets.
The statement noted that the recovery effort further consolidates on the established record of the administration of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government which recovered $322m from Switzerland in 2018. The fund, he said, is being transparently and judiciously deployed in supporting indigent Nigerians as specified in the agreement signed with the Switzerland and the World Bank.
The leader of Nigeria’s team noted that the Tripartite Agreement and the process towards the implementation represents a major watershed in International Asset Recovery and Repatriation as it seeks to provide benefit to the victims of corruption.
In line with the 2020 Asset Return Agreement, the fund has been transferred to a Central Bank of Nigeria Asset Recovery designated account and would be paid to the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) within the next fourteen days.