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Court orders Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan, Buhari to give account of $5bn Abacha loot

Justice Kolawole Omotosho of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the governments of former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari to give an account of the $5 billion Abacha loot so far recovered.

Vanguard reports that in a judgment delivered last week in a Freedom of Information suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/407/2020, filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), the court ordered the government of President Bola Tinubu to “disclose the exact amount of money stolen by General Sani Abacha from Nigeria, and the total amount of Abacha loot recovered and all agreements signed on same by the governments of former presidents Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan and Buhari.”

Justice Omotosho held that; “In the final analysis, the application by SERAP is meritorious and the Federal Government through the Ministry of Finance is hereby ordered to furnish SERAP with the full spending details of about $5bn Abacha loot within 7 days of this judgment.”

Justice Omotosho ordered the government to “disclose details of the projects executed with the Abacha loot, locations of any such projects and the names of companies and contractors that carried or carrying out the projects since the return of democracy in 1999 till date.”

The judge also ordered the government to “disclose details of specific roles played by the World Bank and other partners in the execution of any projects funded with Abacha loot under the governments of former presidents Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan and Buhari.”

Justice Omotosho also stated that, “The excuse by the Minister of Finance is that the Ministry has searched its records and the details of the exact public funds stolen by Abacha and how the funds have been spent are not held by the Ministry. The excuse has no leg to stand in view of section 7 of the Freedom of Information Act.”

Justice Omotosho dismissed all the objections raised by the Federal Government and upheld SERAP’s arguments. Consequently, the court entered judgment in favour of SERAP against the Federal Government.

Prevail Inegbenose

Prevail Inegbenose is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Spark Media & Entertainment Ventures, the publisher of Spark News Daily - Nigeria's most sought-after online news platform - Politics, Sport & Entertainment. Prevail Inegbenose hails from Irrua, Esan Central LGA of Edo State. He studied Mass Communication from the prestigious Auchi Polytechnic Auchi and graduated in 2007. Prevail Inegbenose is a veteran journalist with 15 years of active and practical journalism. He has authored so many write-ups, a lot of which had been published in the newspapers, magazines and social media. Hence Prevail Inegbenose is a Journalist, Writer, Researcher, Author, Communication Expert and Consultant, Social Media Influencer, Project Management Expert, Peace Ambassador and Advocate of Good Governance and Better Society. He's a Pastor, in fact the Lead Pastor, House of God Int'l - Rest Tabernacle, Abuja Nigeria.

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