Abacha Loot: Buhari Given 7 Days To Disclose How Recovered Funds Were Spent Since 1999

A rights organisation, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has threatened to drag the Federal Government to court over non-disclosure of how funds running into several billions in both local and foreign currency allegedly recovered from the late military dictator, General Sani Abacha, were expended.

The threat was contained in two Freedom of Information (FOI) requests sent by the organisation to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN).

In the FOI requests dated February 14, 2020, signed by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP expressed concerns that substantial part of the estimated $5 billion returned Abacha loot since 1999 may have been diverted, re-stolen or mismanaged, and in any case remain unaccounted for.

It consequently asked government to promptly furnish it with information about the exact amount of public funds stolen by a former military Head of State, Sani Abacha and details of spending of about $5 billion recovered loot since the return of democracy in 1999.

The organisation equally sought for details of projects executed with the Abacha loot and their locations, details of companies and contractors involved in the execution of any such projects, details of all the agreements on the loot, the roles played by the World Bank and other actors, as well as the implementation status of all projects since 1999.

It added that the requested information should be supplied by government within a week of the receipt of its FOI requests failure which it will be left with no other option than to take all appropriate legal actions under the FoI Act to compel compliance with its requests.

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