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Nigeria recovers $633.8m, £9.709m looted funds in five years

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In five years, Nigeria has recovered $633.8 million, and £9.709 million in stolen funds.

This disclosure was made on Tuesday by Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris in Abuja at the investigative hearing of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on assessment and status of all recovered loot, movable and immovable assets by agencies of the Federal Government for effective, efficient management and utilisation.

According to the AGF the recovered funds were from Switzerland, the Isle of Jersey, and the United Kingdom since 2017.

A breakdown from the AGF shows $322 million was recovered in December 2017 from Switzerland; $311,797,866.11 from the Island of Jersey and the United Kingdom in May 2020; £5,494,743.71 from the Republic of Northern Ireland (Abacha loot); and £4,214,017 from the UK in May 2021 (Ibori loot).

While responding to questions on the opening of separate accounts for recovered looted funds besides the four accounts he mentioned during his submission, Ahmed said: There are four recovery accounts but in addition, we also have dollar accounts, pound, and euro accounts. Main assets account, final forfeiture account, interim account. For the guidance of the committee, the list is attached to the documents that I have submitted to the Committee.”

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He further explained to the committee that all these assets as recovered are indeed lodged with the CBN Account on Assets Recovery and the receipts of the amounts have been confirmed by the CBN.

“Recovered assets have constituted budgetary item that has been appropriated by the NASS and among the monies,” he noted.

“We open the accounts, we run the accounts, we are the custodian of the accounts but only Mr President has the absolute powers to direct on the expenditure of the accounts. All the accounts are linked to TSA.”

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who also appeared before the Committee said the National Assembly was slowing down effective management of recovered assets by the non-passage of the Proceeds of Crimes Bill.

He said the Bill has put in place effective mechanisms, both in terms of database, disposal, processes, and procedure to manage recovered assets.

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