Controversy Trails Abacha’s $500m Loot
Controversy has emerged over the $500 million recovered from the late Gen. Sani Abacha’s family as report indicates that the money was diverted.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is said to be probing the location of the money which was recovered from the family of the late Head of State during ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
The cash, report says, was repatriated from slush accounts of Abacha in foreign banks after hard negotiations by the Federal government.
Indication have emerged that the $500 million was diverted.
According to the Nation,
“OF THE $500 MILLION, ABOUT $250 MILLION WAS RELEASED TO THE OFFICE OF NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER (ONSA) DURING THE TENURE OF COL. SAMBO DASUKI WITHOUT APPROPRIATION. THE BALANCE OF $250 MILLION CANNOT BE TRACED YET’’.
The sum of $250 million was illegally withdrawn barely two months to the end of Jonathan’s administration in 2015.
Aside the controversial $500 million, another $550 million recovered from the Abacha family may have been lost to the United States.
Prof. Itse Sagay, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), had reported that,
“NIGERIA STANDS TO LOSE ANOTHER S550 MILLION RECOVERED FROM THE ABACHA FAMILY TO THE U.S., CONTRARY TO THE EARLIER PROMISE BY THE U.S. TO RETURN SAME TO NIGERIA”.
Sagay said the amount represented a separate tranche from the earlier $480 million forfeited to the U.S. following a court judgment in August 2014.
He said that the stringent conditions for repatriation being given by the countries in which some of the nation’s stolen wealth was stashed contradicted the earlier promises made.
According to Sagay, the challenges include stringent conditions and other uncooperative attitude of the countries in possession of the stolen funds.
“OUT OF THE ABACHA LOOT FOR INSTANCE, SWITZERLAND SEIZED OVER $505.5 MILLION BETWEEN 2004 AND 2006.
Nigeria also signed a Memorandum of understanding ( MOU) with Switzerland for the return of $321 million in looted funds to Nigeria.