By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
The Federal Republic of Nigeria, Government of Jersey and United States of America, have perfected and signed a tripartite agreement on recovery of over $300million looted funds.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN, who made this known, Tuesday, said federal government has strong record of transparency in the usage of the recovered Abacha loot.
Malami said that President Muhamadu Buhari led government, has established record of people-oriented utilization of recovered assets and strong commitment to transparency and accountability through diligent implementation of projects agreed upon.
This is contained in a statement issued by Dr Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, made available to newsmen on Tuesday 4th February,2020.
Malami recalled how the Federal Government recalled with specifically the Federal Government’s agreement with Switzerland and the World Bank with particular reference to the disbursement of the three hundred and twenty-two million US Dollars ($322million) repatriated from Switzerland in 2018 under a World Bank monitored social investment program targeted at poor households.
According to the statement, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami signed the agreement on behalf of Nigerian government while the Solicitor General and Attorney General designate of Jersey, Mark Temple QC signed the Agreement on behalf of Jersey, the Deputy Assistant Attorney Brian Benczkowski announced the agreement on behalf of the United States.
In his address during the signing, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami said that the “agreement has culminated in a major victory, for Nigeria and other African countries as it recognizes that crime does not pay and that it is important for the international community to seek for ways to support sustainable development through the recovery and repatriation of stolen assets.”
He noted further that “Without the commitment of the three parties to the Agreement (Nigeria, Jersey and the United States) and that of the legal experts and Attorneys representing Nigeria, it would have been impossible to achieve the success recorded today.”
Mr. Malami, also stated, “As you are aware, the government of Nigeria has committed that the assets will support and assist in expediting the construction of three major infrastructure projects across Nigeria: the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway, Abuja – Kano Road and the Second Niger Bridge.
These projects are being executed under the supervision of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority as a Public Private Partnership that will boost economic growth and help alleviate poverty by connecting people and supply chains from the East to the West and to the Northern part of Nigeria, a vast area covering several kilometers with millions of the country’s population set to benefit from the road infrastructures.“
He urged for greater cooperation and mutual respect amongst countries in the implementation of expeditious cooperation measures already set out in the United Nations Convention Against Corruption and in the implementation of the Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) principles on the repatriation of stolen assets.