BENIN CITY, NIGERIA. June 1, 2020.. Following the successful bid opening for 18 Civil Society Organisations that applied to be third party monitors for the $311.79million Abacha III returned recently from the United States of America and the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ and Lead organization of the Monitoring Transparency and Accountability Returned Assets (MANTRA) project being supported by DFID Nigeria under the ACORN programme has lauded the Federal Government for keeping to the terms of agreement.
Executive Director of ANEEJ, the Rev David Ugolor said the bidding process that was organized by the Federal Ministry of Justice in collaboration with the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, in Abuja showed transparency of the process which, according to him is an important hallmark of procurement anywhere in the world.
“From the publication of call for bids for prospective Civil Society Organisations to apply for the third party monitoring of the returned $311.79 Abacha III up till the public opening of the bids, we have carefully followed the process and we commend the Head of Assets Recovery Unit of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Ladidi Mohammed and her team as well as the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) for ensuring that the process was open and transparent,” Rev Ugolor said.
ANEEJ, Rev Ugolor said, has commenced the independent monitoring of the utilization of the returned loot and expressed satisfaction with the bid process for the hiring of third party Civil Society monitors that will be monitoring the recovered loot in line with the agreement signed by the governments of Nigeria, United States of America and the Bailiwick of Jersey.
“We are currently developing our Monitoring tools and will be training our MANTRA team to be deployed soon to the field for our independent monitoring of the same returned loot. In the days and weeks to come, we hope to reach out to all key stakeholders connected with the implementation of the three projects as part of our scoping for the task ahead,” Ugolor disclosed.
“With the successful end-to-end monitoring of the returned $322.5million Abacha 11, we have been able to prevent its looting and we are happy to deploy our skills and resources to ensure that we achieve the same feat with the returned $311.79million Abacha III loot. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that the returned loot goes to the three Legacy projects the Federal Government has earmarked the money for.” Ugolor assured
It will be recalled that the Federal Government recently confirmed the receipt of repatriated $311.79 million Abacha III Loot from the United States of America and the Bailiwick of Jersey. In the agreement signed between Nigeria and the two nations, the money will be spent on the Lagos-Ibadan Express Way, Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Express way and the third Niger Bridge.