By Adeola Tukuru
The federal government through the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, yesterday revealed that they have recovered the sum of $85 million as part of the funds stolen during the controversial Malabu oil deal.
The AGF, who noted this at the Pre-Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) Consultative meeting in Abuja, also said the Nigerian government has also concluded negotiation with Switzerland on the return of $ 321 million recovered from the late Abacha family.
Malami called on international communities to improve on procedure for faster return of the country’s assets and funds to enable them meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The AGF, noted that it is pertinent to state at this point that recovery and repatriation of our stolen wealth stashed abroad continues to be very tedious despite several bilateral and multilateral agreements entered into between Nigeria and other jurisdictions.
He further acknowledged that corruption undermines economic development, political stability, rule of law, social development, disrupts social order and destroys public trust in the governance system.
“In Nigeria for instance, resources and funds meant for development of infrastructure in education, health and security sectors, among others, have been gradually stolen and laundered in different parts of the world,” he said.
Also, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, lauded Nigerian Government for its strong effort shown by the Anti-corruption saying that he is impressed with the Government and Civil Society Organisations for their commitment.
According to him, Nigeria is one of the four priority countries to part of the meeting at the Global Forum on Asset Recovery slated for December in Washington, DC adding that “We want to see that stolen money retrieved be put in good use for the people of Nigeria “.Earlier, the Executive Director, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), David Ugolor, explained that the Global Forum on Asset Recovery slated for December in Washington, DC provides another opportunity for Nigeria to consolidate on a number of issues including international cooperation to strengthen the mechanism for assest tracing, recovery and repatriation.
He further said it is important to emphasise that the rising migration from Nigeria and other Poor Africa Countries is directly connected to the looting of the public funds.
“Funds which should have been used to tackle the problem of unemployment and implementation of the SDGs sustained international cooperation is required to arrest this trend,” he said.
He lauded Mac Arthur Foundation and the DFID for providing the resources to host the important meeting.