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Again, Nigerian govt dismisses claim of alleged third party agreement on Abacha loot

The Federal Government insisted on Wednesday it had not entered into any agreement to give any amount of money to any individual in relation to the $308 million recovered from the family of the late Head of State, Sani Abacha, which would be repatriated to Nigeria from the Island of Jersey.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami made the clarification in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Gwandu.

He said the federal government is exclusively bound by the tripartite agreement signed with the United States and the Island of Jersey for the repatriation of the funds referred to as Abacha III.

He added that no individual was named to be a beneficiary of any amount in the tripartite agreement.

According to the AGF, the international community had developed confidence in the present administration because the looted funds recovered before now were judiciously utilised for high impact and public-oriented projects.

He said it was clearly spelt out in the agreement that the funds would be utilised for the Abuja – Kano, and Lagos – Ibadan Highways as well as the 2nd Niger Bridge only.

Malami added: “Hence, the insinuation of a third-party beneficiary outside the scope of the agreement is therefore baseless and unfounded.”

The minister said Nigeria has no reputational issues over enforcement of agreements and treaties.

He also accused some Nigerians of mischievously peddling contaminated information out of ignorance, political blackmail, selfish interest, or mischievous intentions.

“It is, therefore, an impossibility, and unimaginable, for Nigeria to hand over some amount of money to a third party not expressly mentioned in the agreement after the three countries concerned signed an agreement on what to do with the repatriated funds.

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“The funds in contention are not in any way connected with assets exempted by former President Obasanjo pursuant to an August 18, 2003 agreement.

“The agreement resolved and released all claims and liabilities of any kind which exist or might exist against Atiku Bagudu in favour of or at the suit of any organ of government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Atiku Bagudu’s family’s contention which constitutes a judicial action is borne out of Obasanjo’s concession and the claims arising therefrom is separate and distinct,” Malami concluded.

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