Abacha loot

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the administrations of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan, and Muhammadu Buhari to provide an account of the projects executed or currently underway using the $5 billion returned Abacha loot. The court also instructed the government of President Bola Tinubu to disclose the precise amount of money stolen by the late General Sani Abacha, the total amount of recovered Abacha loot, and all agreements signed regarding the funds by the aforementioned former presidents. The Minister of Finance, the Attorney General of the Federation, and the Minister of Justice were named as defendants in the lawsuit. In September 2022, SERAP filed a lawsuit against the administration of former President Buhari for failing to publish the agreement with the United States regarding the repatriation of $23 million stolen by Sani Abacha. The agreement was signed in August 2022 after the $311 million Abacha loot was returned by the United States in 2020. SERAP sought a court order directing the President and former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to make the details of the contractual agreement with the US public. Justice James Omotosho ruled in favor of SERAP in a Freedom of Information suit, ordering the Ministry of Finance to provide full spending details of the approximately $5 billion Abacha loot within seven days. The government was also directed to disclose the specifics of projects executed with the Abacha loot, including their locations and the names of the companies and contractors involved since 1999. The court further ordered the government to reveal the roles played by the World Bank and other partners in executing any projects funded with Abacha loot under the administrations of former Presidents Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan, and Buhari. The objections raised by the Federal Government were dismissed, and judgment was entered in favor of SERAP.

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