The United States of America has refused to send the sum of $100 million US dollars which is part of the Abacha loot that the country earlier promised the Nigerian government because it’ll be sent to an APC governor.
On February 21, 2020, a leading US business publication, Bloomberg and the NYTimes broke the news that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is contending the sincerity of the government of Nigeria to support the effort to recover the money that was linked to Abacha.
The DOJ has revealed that the top APC chieftain and the governor of Kebbi, Abubakar Bagudu played a role in laundering the alleged money with Abacha. However, the ruling APC administration, according to a report by the DOJ, says there’s a 17-year old agreement between Nigeria and Bagudu that entitles Bagudu to the money.
This, according to some recent documents obtained from the District Court of the District of Columbia in Washington, USA, will prevent Nigeria from supporting the US with the case.
This situation shows how deeply rooted corruption has been embellished in Nigeria’s ruling class.
Matthew Page, an associate fellow at the Chatham House, London and a one-time Nigeria expert fo American intelligence agencies said the case “illustrates how complex and contentious repatriating stolen assets to Nigeria can be. Instead of welcoming U.S. efforts, Nigeria’s lawyers appear to be supporting the interests of one of the country’s most powerful families.”
According to Bloomberg, a spokesperson for President Buhari has said the case is for the Attorney General, Malami to answer.
Abacha, a former dictator and Nigerian general who died in officer embezzled billions of dollars, many of which were stashed away abroad. Several countries have helped in repatriating those monies back to Nigeria, including countries in Europe. So far, over $2 billion have been returned to Nigeria, says Bloomberg.
According to Bloomberg, in 2003, the USA initiated a forfeiture action against assets belonging to Abubakar Bagudu, which included four investment portfolios held in London for Bagudu and his family.
In the Bloomberg report, the DOJ said in a statement released on the 3rd of February that 58-year-old Bagudu was among the ring of a network that assisted Abacha in “embezzling and misappropriating billions.”