Presidency, AGF dismiss US justice dept’s allegations

Meanwhile, the Presidency, in its response to the report, said on Friday that the Federal Government had more looted funds to recover overseas and would not agree to anyone trying to complicate its efforts at making the recovery.

It said in a statement that the $308m (about N110bn) Abacha loot on which Nigeria recently secured an agreement for repatriation of the funds to Nigeria, would be spent solely on the terms of the agreement, and nothing else.

The statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, was however silent on the allegations raised by the US Justice Department that the Federal Government was planning to give about $100m to Bagudu and that it was blocking attempts to retrieve loot from the Kebbi governor.

The statement partly read, “We have a lot more money to recover overseas and no one has the right to complicate things for the government of our country.

“The United States and the British crown dependency of Jersey have agreed with the President and government of Nigeria to repatriate $308m funds connected to former Nigerian military ruler, General Sani Abacha, the three governments said.

“By a decision of this government, the entire sum will be paid to the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA and will be used in expediting the construction of the three major infrastructure projects across Nigeria – namely Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; Abuja–Kano Expressway and the Second Niger Bridge.

“The position of the Buhari administration is still the same on this. The Embassy of the United States may be approached for any clarification on the agreement already reached by the three parties.”

Also, the Special Adviser, Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, while dismissing the allegations by the US said, “The story regarding paying a governor certain amount of the repatriated Abacha loot is unfounded and baseless.

“It is only a fiction and figment of imagination of mischief-makers who are bent on destroying the good efforts of the Federal Government. The report should be disregarded by any sensible and well-meaning persons.”

Also, efforts to get Bagudu’s reaction were not successful as calls made to his Special Assistant on Media, Yahaya Sarki, were not answered. He had also yet to respond to the messages were also not responded to as of the time of filing this report.

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