The United States said on Tuesday the soon to be repatriated $308million recovered from the family of the late maximum ruler, Gen. Sani Abacha, must be placed in a secured account by the Nigerian government. Washington said the Federal Government would be required to replace the fund if it is stolen from the account.
The Spokesperson for the US State Department, Morgan Ortagus, said in a statement that this was one of the agreements reached between the US, Nigeria and the Island of Jersey where the funds are being kept. The US said the arrangement was consistent with the commitments both the US and Nigeria made under the principles agreed at the 2017 Global Forum on Asset Recovery co-hosted by the US and the United Kingdom. The statement read: “The funds will be used by the Nigerian Independent Sovereign Authority for three infrastructure projects in strategic economic zones across Nigeria.
“To ensure that the funds are used responsibly and for the good of the nation, the agreement includes mechanisms for monitoring the implementation of these projects as well as external oversight, and it requires Nigeria to repay any funds lost as a result of any new corruption or fraud to the account established to hold the returned assets. “This return reflects the growing international consensus that countries must work together to ensure stolen assets are returned in a transparent and accountable manner.”
“This agreement is a symbol of the weight that the United States government places on the fight against corruption. We welcome President Buhari’s personal commitment to that fight, and we will continue to support civil society and other Nigerian efforts to combat corruption at all levels. The fight against corruption is an investment in the future of Nigeria.” Vanguard
Pix: President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria