Journalism of Courage

$23m Abacha Loot: Publish FG’s Agreement with U.S., SERAP tells Buhari

"Publishing a copy of the agreement signed with the US would also promote transparency and accountability in the spending of public funds.

For transparency and accountability, President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked to direct the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) to provide it with a copy of the agreement the Federal Government recently signed with the U.S. for the repatriation of another $23 million stashed in America by the late military dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) which made the demand on Sunday, said it is in accordance with the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, the Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s international obligations on such matters.

In a letter dated August 27, 2022 and signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said transparency obligations imposed on the government demands that the government should widely publish the agreement on the $23 million Abacha loot.

SERAP said providing it with a copy of the agreement and publishing the agreement would allow Nigerians to scrutinise it and to monitor the spending of the repatriated loot to ensure that the money is not mismanaged or stolen.

“Your government has a responsibility to ensure transparency and accountability in how any repatriated stolen funds are spent, to reduce vulnerability to corruption and mismanagement.



“SERAP also urges you to provide details of the transparency and accountability mechanisms that have been put in place to ensure that the repatriated funds are not mismanaged, diverted or re-stolen.

“We would therefore be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within seven days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter.

“If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest,” Persecondnews quotes from the statement.

“Publishing a copy of the agreement signed with the US would also promote transparency and accountability in the spending of public funds.

“Nigerians are entitled to their constitutionally and internationally recognized human right to information.”

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