BENIN-CITY, NIGERIA. August 24, 2022… The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice has welcomed the signing of agreements between the Nigerian and United States Governments to return $23million recovered from the Late General Sani Abacha for the completion of three major infrastructural landmark projects.
Executive Director of ANEEJ and Leader of the Monitoring Transparency and Accountability project in the use of returned Assets (MANTRA) project, the Rev David Ugolor while welcoming the signing of the agreement urged the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami to put the agreement in the public domain as was done with previous agreements in line with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) commitments.
He commended both parties for indicating that Civil Society will monitor the disbursement of the funds for the execution of the projects and hinted that ANEEJ and its partners in the MANTRA project nationwide will independently monitor the disbursement of the assets in the completion of the Abuja-Kano Road, Lagos-Ibadan Express Way and the second Niger Bridge.
“We welcome the signing of agreement by both countries for the return of $23m ‘Abacha 5’ which we have for long be campaigning for. We are glad that the US government has finally acceded to our several demands in this respect and we urge other countries habouring Nigeria’s looted assets to return them to enable Nigeria address its economic and development challenges,” Ugolor demanded, noting that corruption has wreaked serious havoc on Nigeria’s development plans.
“We will activate our network of Civil Society Organisations under the aegis of MANTRA to monitor and track the use of the returned assets. When you combine this particular asset with Abacha 3 and 4 from Bailiwick of Jersey and Republic of Island respectively that are being sunk into these three landmark projects, you are close to over $500million. As, representatives of the Nigerian people, we will keep an eye on the use of these assets,” Ugolor assured.
Recall that the United States (US) and Nigerian governments on Tuesday signed an agreement with the Federal Government to repatriate $23 million Abacha loot to Nigeria. The agreement was signed, at the office of Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Malami at the event said the decision to return the stolen funds, which is tagged, ‘Abacha-5’, was a product of series of negotiations and meetings between Nigeria, the US Department of Justice and the United Kingdom (UK) National Crime Agency.