Group moves to ensure repatriation of $500m Abacha loot

From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

The African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has promised to mount pressure on the United States of America to repatriates over $500 million looted by the late Gen, Sani Abacha to the country.
The Group further disclosed that there also plans, under way in the third phase of the Monitoring of Recovered Asset through Transparency and Accountability Project (MANTRA), to work closely with the U.S. and the Nigerian government to recover the money.
Executive Director of the Group, David Ugolo disclosed this while speaking to our correspondent yesterday.
He, however, stated that the U.S. Government should not be blamed for the delay in the repatriation of the said funds back to Nigeria, saying there is the need for the Federal Government to demonstrate what is being done with the recovered assets from Switzerland.
“When it comes to asset recovery, it is based on mutual trust, and the U.S. Government has its own laws and processes. We must see how to negotiate and send the right signal to get their cooperation to recover the stolen funds.
ANEEJ urged speedy action on Asset Recovery Architecture in the country, adding that the National Assembly should pass the Proceeds of Crime Bill into law to have institutional backing for asset recovery in the country.
Ugolo further affirmed that they have evidence to proof that the $322million Abacha loot are being disbursed to the poorest of the poor in the country.
Ugolor explained that the group has officers monitoring the disbursement in about 11 states of the federation, and they have confirmed that the money is actually getting to the poor in the society.
The ANEEJ chief canvassed that rather than disbursing the looted funds to the poor, it could be used for Nigeria to meet their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goal, such as the health, education sector among others.

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