The Federal Government may have cleared all the possible legal hurdles in order to pave the way for the repatriation of the $480m loot linked to the late military junta, General Sani Abacha, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mall am Abubakar Malami (SAN) has said.
According to him, the Federal Government will soon receive the funds from the United States after necessary procedures have been put in place.
A source at the Ministry of Justice confirmed to Ripples Nigeria that the minister was working closely with the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu to convince the United States to concede the repatriation of $480million Abacha loot.
He said: “We are hopeful that we will soon get the $480million. There are limited things to be put in place by both the US and Nigeria and things are working according to plans.
“To get to this stage, we agreed that any legal impediments should be eliminated. We opened talks with a Nigerian lawyer in the US who had a matter in court over the Abacha funds and the lawyer has keyed into the repatriation process because of the potential benefits to the nation.
“So far, we have cleared the legal hurdles, we will soon have the funds repatriated. Although you can be in control of your own end, the US has also shown tremendous understanding.”
Pressed further, the source said: “It all borders on the appreciation of the anti-corruption agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari by the international community.
“We had fruitful engagement with the US and it showed much understanding. We said the perception at home was that the US was becoming a safe haven for corrupt public office holders. And they proved to us that they are committed to anti-corruption campaign.
“We told them if we can have understanding with Switzerland and the UAE, they should trust us and support the Federal Government to repatriate these looted funds.
“Therefore, it involved a lot of solicitation, understanding and trust. At the end of the bilateral agreement, the US agreed to release the $480m to us”, he said.
RipplesNigeria… without borders, without fears