The Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP) has demanded an explanation from the Federal Government of Nigeria as to why £4.2 million James Ibori loot would be used for the same project which recovered $600 million Abacha loot was earmarked for.
According to SERAP, in March 2020, Federation Government had informed SERAP that the $322 million Abacha loot from Switzerland and the $308 million recovered from the Island of Jersey would be used to “used for the construction of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; Abuja-Kano Expressway and Second Niger Bridge.”
Shockingly, SERAP pointed out that following the signing of an MoU today to return £4.2m assets stolen by former Delta State Governor, James Ibori to Nigeria, @NigeriaGov again stated that it would use the money to “construct the second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kano road, and Lagos-Ibadan Express road.”
SERAP raising alarm to what appears to be unveiling of re-looted recovered public funds “urge @NigeriaGov to urgently clarify why the £4.2m Ibori loot would be used for the construction of Lagos—Ibadan Expressway and the Second Niger Bridge, despite telling SERAP last year that the Abacha loot of over $600m was earmarked for the same projects.
The non-profit and non-partisan organisation said “explaining exactly the total budget for Lagos—Ibadan Expressway and the Second Niger Bridge, and whether the Abacha loot earlier earmarked for the same projects is not enough to complete them would ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of the Ibori loot.
SERAP went further to say their organisation “has consistently called for transparency and accountability in the spending of recovered stolen public assets. We will be issuing a Freedom of Information request to seek details on the status of the spending of Abacha loot on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Second Niger Bridge.
SERAP then reference Former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo statement in his published book of how he recovered $2billion, £100 million Abacha loot from abroad and N10 billion in cash and properties in Nigeria.
“Former President Olusegun Obasanjo administration reportedly recovered over $2bn of Abacha loot. He stated in his book titled ‘My Watch’ that: “by the time I left office in May 2007, over $2bn and £100m had been recovered from abroad; and N10bn in cash and properties locally.” SERAP wrote.
“Similarly, former President Goodluck Jonathan administration reportedly recovered $226.3m and €7.5m from Liechtenstein. Some £22.5m was also recovered from the Island of Jersey while $322m and £5.5m from the Abacha loot were reportedly returned to the government.” SERAP wrote.
SERAP concluded that “the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has also reportedly recovered several millions of dollars of Abacha loot since assuming office in May 2015, including $322m from Switzerland, $300m from the US and $308m from Jersey.” Now demanding accountability for transparency.