America Clinging Tightly to Abacha Loot – FG
The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay has said Nigeria will lose another $550 million recovered from the Abacha’s family to the United States of America.
Prof. Sagay said the money is set to be lost due to stringent conditions by foreign countries where these monies are stashed, particularly the U.S of A.
Some of such conditions highlighted by the Chairman includes, horrendous percentages that are being proposed as recovery charges by the USA.
In a media parley organized by PACAC and the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Foreign Affairs, yesterday, Sagay said, the $550 million is different from the $480 million earlier forfeited to the U.S following a court judgment in August 2014.
He said these funds are just a fraction of Nigeria’s stolen wealth stashed away in foreign countries including the $505.5 million Abacha loot seized by Switzerland between 2004 and 2006.
Prof. Sagay said, countries including the US of A, are bound by the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) to return stolen funds to originating countries. According to Article 3 of UNCAC it states that,
“States parties are obligated to afford one another the widest measure of cooperation and assistance in ensuring that recovered assets are returned on liberal terms as much as possible.”
Mrs. Abike Dabiri who is the Special Adviser to the President on Foreign Affairs, said, “America has over $400 million that have been officially declared as stolen funds from Nigeria, but America is keeping the funds, they are telling us about technicalities, they are saying we recover doesn’t mean we can return.”
“The person who steals is just as guilty as the person who keeps stolen funds. The person who steals is a criminal; the person who keeps known stolen funds is also a criminal. You can’t give us aid of a billion dollars, and keep a billion dollars of funds you have recovered from Nigerians”, she said.