The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Tuesday, rejected the call by human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), for the $308 million recovered from the family of the late dictator, Gen Sani Abacha and other stolen funds to be returned to the Federation Account.
Falana had last week urged the Federal Government to pay the recovered stolen funds in the Federation Account and shared such among the federating units.
But in a statement titled: “Looted funds – Don’t confuse public with myopic views – Malami replies Falana,” and issued by his spokesperson, Dr. Umar Gwandu, the AGF said Falana made “erroneous assertion” on the process of disbursement and use of recovered stolen funds based on the provisions of the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission Act and Section 153 (1) (n) of the Nigerian Constitution.
According to him, such assertion “depicts a rash analysis devoid of clear legal foundations”.
Malami said the RMAFC Act “has nothing specific on funds recovered from indicted public officers or assets recovered internationally.”
He noted that Section 80 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) “contemplates exceptions to funds not payable into the federation account.”
“The recovery of stolen assets and the subsequent uses to which these funds may be employed are subject to international agreements between Nigeria and the affected countries, thereby bringing conflict of laws into contemplation.
“Importantly also, these repatriated funds are based on cooperation and mutual assistance agreements, especially the United Nation Convention against Corruption and Implementation of the Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) Principles on the Repatriation of Stolen Assets,” the AGF concluded.
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