ANEEJ commends US DOJ on ruling on Abacha Loot, pushes for MOU with CSO involvement in repatriation

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Press Release
23rd September, 2016

Benin City, Nigeria…The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has welcomed the ruling of Justice John Bates of the UD District Court dismissing the claim of one Nigerian lawyer in the US, Godson Nnaka, seeking a lien of $320million as legal fees for alleged involvement in the repatriation of $500million Abacha loot trapped in the United States. ANEEJ said that with the dispensing the case instituted by a Nigerian lawyer, claims and counter claims by the United States Department of Justice, DOJ, and the Nigerian government, the coast is now finally clear for the repatriation of the loot.

This position was made available to members of the media by the Rev David Ugolor, executive director, ANEEJ, as a reaction to the dismissal of the case instituted by the Nigerian lawyer.

‘We are delighted that at last one of the bottlenecks said to be holding back the repatriation of funds looted and hidden in the United States by the late Sanni Abacha has been dealt with. What should be happening now is that the US should become involved with the initiative proposed by the United Kingdom, and get connected with the memorandum of understanding which it has entered into with the Nigerian government, to return all Nigerian monies hidden in all British dependencies’, the Rev David Ugolor said.

ANEEJ also encouraged the US Government in the press statement to use this opportunity of the ruling by its department of Justice, to send a strong message to Kleptocrats from to Nigeria that there will be no escape route for them.

‘The US Court Ruling provides an opportunity for both Countries to unite around asset recovery to give meaning to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, UNCAC. In the past, repatriated funds were either mismanaged or re-looted. If there is a blueprint on how the returned funds will be spent, or that the funds are tied to specific rural empowerment projects, it gives civil society a stake in the process, and gives everyone an opportunity to monitor the returned funds’, the Rev Ugolor said in the statement.

ABOUT ANEEJ: We seek to contribute to the emergence of a just and equitable African society through socio-economic and environmental rights protection, institutional strengthening and people’s empowerment.

For more information please contact:
Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku
Communications Manager
Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ
39 Oyaide Street,
Off Benoni, GRA,
Benin City
info@aneej.org, majirioghene@aneej.com www.aneej.org
+2348187674339
Skype: bob majirioghene etemiku.
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