The Federal government said on Monday that it has received $311,797,866.11 recovered assets of the late General Sani Abacha repatriated from the United States and the Bailiwick of Jersey.
Attorney-General of Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, confirmed this on Monday in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations Dr Umar Gwandu.
According to the statement the amount increased significantly from over $308 million mentioned in an earlier statement in February to over $311million as a result of the interest that accrued from February 3 to April 28, when the fund was transferred to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He said the agreement is based on international law and cooperation measures that set out the procedures for the repatriation, transfer, disposition, and management of the assets.
According to the statement, the recovery effort consolidates on the record of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration which has a history of recovery of $322m from Switzerland in 2018.
It added that the recovered loots were transparently and judiciously deployed in supporting indigent Nigerians as specified in the agreement signed with Switzerland and the World Bank.
Malami, who led the negotiation team, noted that the tripartite agreement and the process towards the implementation represented a major watershed in International Asset Recovery and Repatriation as it sought to provide benefit to the victims of corruption.
He further said in line with the 2020 Asset Return Agreement, the fund has been transferred to a Central Bank of Nigeria Asset Recovery designated account and would be paid to the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) within the next fourteen days.
The minister insisted that the latest recovery would support and assist in expediting the construction of three major infrastructure projects across Nigeria – Lagos – Ibadan Expressway, Abuja – Kano Road, and the Second Niger Bridge.
He revealed that the government was in the process of establishing a Project Monitoring Team to oversee the implementation of the projects and report regularly on progress made to the public.
In order to ensure transparent management of the returned assets, Malami said the government would engage a Civil Society Organization who has combined expertise in substantial infrastructure projects, civil engineering, anti-corruption compliance, anti-human trafficking compliance, and procurement to provide additional monitoring and oversight.
The minister assured Nigerians that the government would ensure that the returned assets were transparently managed.
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