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Abacha loot: Three Federal roads to gulp $23.4m



…As FG, US sign recovery agreement

…Abuja-Kano road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, 2nd Niger Bridge enlisted

By Moses enlistees

Three federal road projects have again been enlisted to gulp a sum total of $23,439,724, proceeds of funds recovery associated with the late former military Head of State, General Sani Abacha.

The Federal Government on Tuesday, enlisted the projects having signed a recovery agreement with the Government of the United State of America (USA) for the repatriation of the sum.

The projects enlisted for which the funds would be channeled are Abuja-Kano road, Lagos-Ibadan Express Way, and the Second (II) Niger Bridge.

The three projects, it has been gathered, have been enlisted to enjoy the disbursement of previously recovered loots.

At the ceremonial signing of the asset return agreement which had in attendance the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, representing the Federal Government said the decision to return the stolen loot which he tagged  ‘Abacha-5,’ was a product of series of negotiations and meetings between Nigeria, the US Department of Justice and the UK National Crime Agency (NCA).

According to him, the funds would be channeled into infrastructure.

“It is worthy to note that in line with the terms of this Agreement, Mr. President had already approved the funds to be utilised for the ongoing Presidential Development Infrastructural Funds (PIDF) projects namely; Abuja-Kano Road, Lagos-Ibadan Express Way and the Second Niger Bridge under the supervision of Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

“The President’s mandate to my office is to ensure that all international recoveries are transparently invested and monitored by civil society organisation to complete these three projects within the agreed timeline,” Malami said at the agreement signing ceremony which held at the Federal Ministry of Justice Headquarters in Abuja.

As the Government continues to grope with paucity of funds, resort to pursue recovery of stolen loots kept in foreign accounts have taken a centre place, particularly with the present administration entering into several agreements to repatriate the funds.

The Federal Government had on Thursday, 11th August, 2022, said it had recovered over N3.2billion (£6,324,627.66) of stolen funds from various jurisdictions globally from March 2021 to May 2022.

The AGF disclosing this when he featured on the weekly ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team, at the State House, Abuja, had said that the government generated a total of N1.82 billion from the sale of bid forms and actual sale of forfeited properties in the first 18 months of the Buhari-led regime.

He had also mentioned that an inter-ministerial committee on the audit and recovery of back years on stamp duty has so far recovered over N596million (N596,055,479.47).

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