- Governor Bagudu of Kebbi state has reacted to $100m Abacha loot
- A report had alleged that the federal government was planning to give $100million to Bagudu out of Abacha loot
- Bagudu, however, said that the report was aimed at using the media to sensationalise the case while the US authorities were using it as a ploy to halt recovery of the looted funds
In the wake of the controversy that surrounds a report that alleged that the federal government was planning to hand over $100 million to him out of $308million Abacha loot, Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi state, has finally reacted.
Bagudu in an exclusive interview with Daily Trust denied any wrongdoing, adding that he believed the report was aimed at using the media to sensationalise the case while the US authorities were using it as a ploy to confiscate recovery of the money by the Nigerian government.
Legit.ng gathered that he added that his name was only joined as an associate of the Abacha government and though he signed an agreement with the federal government under former president Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003, up to 2013 none of his assets was frozen in Nigeria, and therefore he did not admit criminal liability.
According to the newspaper, a copy of the agreement obtained on the night of Saturday, February 22, says if at any stage Bagudu returned to Nigeria he would not be arrested and in case of any mistaken arrest, unconditional bail would be granted him in respect of the Abuja proceedings, the amended Abuja proceedings, the delegated proceedings or any criminal proceedings existing or future relating to the resolved matters as in the principal agreement.
The newspaper also noted that the letter listed Bagudu’s affiliates as David Liewellyn Jones, Smith and Tyres Limited, Robinson International, and AB’s wife, children, brothers and sisters.
A Bloomberg report had noted that the commitment to transfer the funds to Bagudu appeared to undermine President Muhammadu Buhari’s pledge to check corruption in the country.
It was said to have quoted the US Department of Justice as saying that Bagudu was involved in corruption with Abacha, and contended that the Nigerian government was hindering US efforts to recover allegedly laundered money alleged to have been traced to Bagudu.
It added that the Buhari administration says a 17-year-old agreement entitles Bagudu to the funds and prevents Nigeria from assisting the U.S., according to recent filings from the district court for the District of Columbia in Washington.
The disagreement, according to Bloomberg, may hamper future cooperation between Nigeria and the U.S. to recover money moved abroad by Abacha.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the federal government received US$308 million looted by the late former dictator, Sani Abacha, from the US government, the presidency has revealed how the funds would be spent.
In another report, it was gathered that civil society organisations and Nigerians were being urged by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami to be involved in monitoring how Abacha’s recovered loot will be used.
The advice from the minister of justice came after a tripartite agreement on the recovery of over $308m looted funds was signed by Nigeria, the United States of America and the government of Jersey.
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