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Published On: Thu, Jun 26th, 2014

FG picks holes in TI criticisms on Abacha loot issue

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The Federal Ministry of Justice has condemned the Transparency International (TI), for criticizing the federal government for dropping the corrupt charges pressed against the Abacha family.

Transparency International had accused the Nigerian government of encouraging impunity by dropping the Abacha loot case without genuine explanation.

According to TI, the move had sent wrong signals on the fight against corruption in Nigeria, meaning that Political office holders could loot public funds and still go unpunished.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke has however criticized the accusation as baseless and unfair, explaining that, aside employing the methods which most countries have used in stolen funds recovery from political office holders, the Nigerian government had only done what is best for the interest of the country.

“The blanket criticism by TI, which has little bearing on the facts, is therefore unfortunate. The singling out of Nigeria for criticism by TI for adopting measures, which are globally used in cases of this nature and which have produced good results for the country is unfair”, he said.

In a statement issued by the Justice’ Chief Press Secretary, Ambrose Momoh, Adoke explained that the Jonathan administration has employed the best method to recover stolen funds and that government has been able to record huge success in the recovery.

Adoke also noted that the accused had dropped the appeal he wanted to file and had promised to co-operate with the government to recover the stolen funds thus making no need for any further case.

“It is pertinent to state that the recent withdrawal of the criminal proceedings against Mohammed Abacha in Nigeria will facilitate the recovery of the sum of $380 million from the Luxembourg proceedings and $550 million from forfeiture proceedings instituted by the US Department of Justice.

This is because the Abacha family has not only undertaken not to contest the proceedings, but to also cooperate fully with the Federal Government of Nigeria in the recovery proceedings. It is therefore clear, from the foregoing, that the suggestion that “the Abachas have been allowed to get away with little loss” is totally false and at variance with the facts”, he said.

Justice Adoke therefore criticized the international body for ignoring the facts that the case was over 16 years while closing its eyes against the tremendous efforts made by the government to track down the funds.

 

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