The Federal Government has signed an agreement with the United States of America regarding the management of some forfeited assets worth $23 million in relation to MECOSTA/Sani Mohammed Asset known as Abacha V.
Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of The Federation and Minister of Justice, who signed the agreement on the sharing, transfer, repatriation, disposition, and management of the said asset in Abuja, yesterday said the forfeited Mecosta/Sani assets were twenty-three million, four hundred and thirty-nine thousand, seven hundred and twenty-four dollars.
He said, “Permit me to express my gratitude towards the efforts of the Governments of the U.S. and the UK in ensuring that looted funds recovered are returned to Nigeria; not only in this case but in other pending cases such as Bayelsa, Galactica, Blue Trust, and Seaborne assets.
“We are hopeful that these remaining cases would soon be concluded and that the courts will take decisions in favor of the people of Nigeria who are the victims of the stolen assets.’’
The attorney noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had already approved that the funds be used for the ongoing Presidential Development Infrastructural Funds (PIDF) projects.
“These projects include Abuja-Kana Road, Lagos-Ibadan Express Way, and the Second Niger Bridge under the supervision of the 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 organizations to complete these three projects within the agreed timeline’’, he said.
He pleaded with the U.S. not to relent in supporting Nigeria’s commitment to the speedy, transparent management of returned assets.
“I urge you to support us in meeting these critical priorities by working with us to finish the projects already agreed under the 2020 Tripartite agreement among Nigeria, the U.S., and the Ballwick of Jersey for the benefit of Nigeria and its citizens.”
Mary Leonard, the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria in her remarks the country seized these funds in response to General Abacha and his associates’ violation of U.S. laws by laundering these assets through the U.S. and into accounts in the UK.