The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Tuesday disclosed that the Federal Government will soon recover an additional $750 million stashed in foreign bank accounts by the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha.
General Abacha was Nigeria’s de facto president from 1993 to 1998 during which period he and his family were alleged to have stolen about 5 billion British pounds from the treasury.
So far, Nigeria has through the assistance of the World Bank, repatriated over $700 million of the Abacha loot with discussions still ongoing with other countries such as the United Kingdom, United States and others, to recover more funds stolen by the late military dictator and stashed in foreign banks.
Speaking during an interactive session with the House of Representatives Committee on Justice, Malami said the government is also aiming to recover £6.9 million stolen by convicted former Delta State Governor, Chief James Ibori.
He said: “In respect of the recovery of looted assets, the ministry will engage in an agree waive policy of using Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements or other bilateral and multilateral instruments to seek cooperation with other jurisdictions to ensure the repatriation of illicitly- acquired assets in foreign jurisdictions.
“The collaboration will equally involve the engagement if foreign-based Counsel to attend to matters on behalf of the federal Government. Low-hanging fruits being targeted in this initiative include $750 million Abaca loot as well as the £6.9 million of the Ibori loot. On the long run, the ministry will be in a position to coordinate the recovery of billions of dollars in foreign jurisdictions, based on current estimations”.
The AGF, however, disclosed that the country owes N75 billion in judgment debts.
“It is equally necessary to highlight the fact that the ministry’s current liability for judgment debt is in the region of N75 billion.
“The ministry has however proposed the sum of N 16 billion to meet a portion of the outstanding sum in 2016, out of which the Budget Office has proposed an extremely low sum of N 709, 155, 140.00 which does not meet even one percent of the outstanding judgment debts”, he said.