Abacha loot: You Will Have To Replace It If You Re-loot The Money – US To Nigeria

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The United State Government has warned the Nigerian government that the $321m Abacha loot that the US is planning to repatriate back to Nigeria should not be re-looted.

 

The US warned that if it gets re-looted the Nigerian government must be made to replace the money.

Mr. Morgan Artagus, the spokesperson of the US State Department made this known as part of the agreement with the Nigerian government and the Island of Jersey where the loot was kept.

The statement partly reads; “The funds will be used by the Nigerian Independent Sovereign Authority for three infrastructure projects in strategic economic zones across Nigeria.

“To ensure that the funds are used responsibly and for the good of the nation, the agreement includes mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of these projects as well as external oversight, and it requires Nigeria to repay any funds lost as a result of any new corruption or fraud to the account established to hold the returned assets.

According to him, agreeing to return the loot indicate the growing international consensus that the US and Nigeria work together to ensure stolen assets are returned in an atmosphere of transparency and accountable manner.

The US revealed this arrangement was following the agreement entered into by both countries in the year 2017 Global Forum Asset Recovery hosted by the US in the United Kingdom.

According to the United State, the agreement was its commitment to fighting corruption in support of the President Buhari one of his campaign mantras, promising to continue supporting the civil society in Nigeria and across the globe to combat corruption.

Abacha ruled Nigeria between 1993 and 1998, he was believed to have looted Nigeria treasury of over $4billion from the government coffers.

So far, over $1billion has been recovered from the loot.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has said the Abacha loot will be spent on repairing   the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Abuja-Kano Road and Second Niger Bridge.

Mark Temple, the Solicitor General and Attorney General-designate of Jersey said the agreement “represents the culmination of two decades of painstaking work by law officers in Jersey, the United States, and Nigeria”, to return the money to Nigeria, though had been delayed by a number of hard-fought challenges by third parties which were defeated in the Courts in Jersey and the United States”.

Meanwhile, he said the spending of the money will be subject to monitoring.

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