• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Recovered Abacha loot: Court orders FG to account for $5b

Recovered Abacha loot: Court orders FG to account for $5b

According to an order from the Federal High Court in Abuja, the Federal Government must explain how it spent the $5 billion in loot confiscated from the late General Sani Abacha.

Last week, Justice James Omotosho issued the directive while rendering a decision in a Freedom of Information lawsuit brought by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project and bearing the case number FHC/ABJ/CS/407/2020. The judge ordered the government to release the information within seven days of the ruling.

According to a statement released on Sunday by SERAP, the court asked President Bola Tinubu’s administration to “disclose the exact amount of money stolen by Abacha from Nigeria, and the total amount of the Abacha loot recovered and all agreements signed on same by the governments of former presidents Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan and Buhari.”

The judge rejected the Ministry of Finance’s position that it lacked information about how the Abacha cash was used.

SERAP’s application was approved by Omotosho, who also directed the FG, via the Ministry of Finance, “to furnish SERAP with the full spending details of about $5bn Abacha loot within seven days of this judgment.”

The statement noted that the court also ordered the Federal Government to “disclose details of the projects executed with the Abacha loot, locations of any such projects and the names of companies and contractors that carried or carrying out the projects since the return of democracy in 1999 till date.”

Justice Omotosho ordered the government to “disclose details of specific roles played by the World Bank and other partners in the execution of any projects funded with Abacha loot under the governments of former presidents Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan and Buhari.”