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FG recovers $779m, N59bn loot in four years, says AGF

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The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, yesterday said that Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Justice was able to recover $779,495,900 and N59,163,029.46 loot respectively in the last four years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The acting Chief of Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Mohammed, will today administer the oath of office on Buhari for his second term in office after emerging the winner in the February 23 presidential election.
Malami, who served as the AGF, disclosed the recoveries in Abuja during the handing over ceremony and reconstitution of Governing Board of Parastatals and Agencies under the Federal Ministry of Justice.

Breaking the down the recoveries, Malami stated , “The HAGF was granted mandate pursuant to directive of Council , vide approval in EC(2017) 232 of 1st November, 2017 to sign on behalf of the Federal Government , a tripartite agreement with the Swiss Federal Council and the World Bank for the repatriation of $321 million Abacha loot.

“During the maiden Global Forum on Assets Recovery in Washington DC, USA in December 2017 , the HAGF signed the said agreement . The funds have since been received by the government and are currently deposited with Central Bank of Nigeria.

“The Commercial Court in the UK recently ordered to pay out the sum of over $73 million, with interest to the Nigerian Government, being part of the proceeds from the sale of OPL 245 by Malabu Oil and Gas Company to EN/SHELL. The said sum has also been received and deposited with the Central Bank .

“The Office of the Honorable Attorney-General of the Federation has recovered the sums of N59,163,029,949.46 and $385,495,900 locally.
“The total sums recovered by the Ministry during the reporting period are $779,495,900 and N59163,029,949.46 respectively” .

He added that in line with relevant provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, the Ministry has reached an advanced stage in efforts to ensure the forfeiture of cash and properties worth billions of naira to the coffers of the Federal Government.
“To this end, a memo is awaiting the approval of the President to finalize negotiations with politically exposed persons, who have been indicted and charged for various corruption related offences.”

Highlighting the status of terrorism cases prosecuted by Federal Ministry of Justice, Malami stated that 63 cases are concluded out of which the ministry secured 59 convictions.
He noted that 65 trials are ongoing , 800 charges filed awaiting trial, 220 detainees recommended for release/re-radicalization for want of evidence.

Malami equally noted that 1,670 profiled detainees were awaiting judicial proceedings/de-radicalisation programme and 651 detainees remanded in Maiduguri.
“The state of security in Nigeria is a major concern for both the government and the public. For example, there is an on-going insurgency in North East; frequency of herdsmen and farmers conflicts and kidnappings, armed robbery have become rife.

“This state of affairs causes widespread feelings of fear and insecurity. Improving the security situation in Nigeria is top government priority”.

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