Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the government of president Muhammadu Buhari to explain why £4.2m James Ibori’s loot will be used for the construction of Lagos—Ibadan Expressway and the Second Niger Bridge..
The group in a statement said: We 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..
BREAKING: We 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.— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) March 9, 2021
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.
Buhari sued by SERAP
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.
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 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 spending of Abacha loot on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Second Niger Bridge
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.
We also urge @NigeriaGov to urgently publish details of the planned spending of the £4.2m on Lagos—Ibadan Expressway and the Second Niger Bridge, and whether there is any money remaining from the Abacha loot reportedly spent on the same projects.
SERAP is therefore calling on @NigeriaGov to urgently clarify how much of the Abacha recovered loot from Switzerland and the Island of Jersey has been spent on Lagos—Ibadan Expressway and the Second Niger Bridge, and to provide details of the outstanding work on the two projects.
However, 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.”
In response to our FoI,@NigeriaGov had in March 2020 told SERAP that the $322m Abacha loot recovered from Switzerland and the $308m recovered from the Island of Jersey would be “used for the construction of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; Abuja-Kano Expressway and Second Niger Bridge.”
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