The Federal Government has not entered into any agreement to concede any amount of money to any individual in relation to over $300 million to be repatriated back to Nigeria from Island of New Jessy.
The Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN made the clarification while speaking to Voice of Nigeria and Deutsche Welle, according to a statement issued by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, on Wednesday 8th April, 2020.
The Minister who stated that the Federal Government is exclusively bound by the tripartite agreement entered into and signed by the Federal Government of Nigeria, United State of America and Island of Jessy for the repatriation of over $300 million funds referred to as Abacha III.
He added that no individual was named to be a beneficiary of any amount in the tripartite agreement.
Malami said the international community have developed confidence in the present administration in view of the fact that looted funds recovered by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s led administration, before now, were judiciously utilized for high-impact public oriented projects.
He said in the document of the agreement, it was clearly spelt out that the monies will be utilized in the Abuja-Kano and Lagos – Ibadan Express ways as well as the 2nd Niger Bridge only and the insinuation of third-party beneficiary outside the scope of the agreement is, therefore, baseless and unfounded.
The Minister said Nigeria has no reputational issue over enforcement of agreements and treaties and it is, therefore, an impossibility and unimaginable for Nigeria to hand over some amount of money to a third party not expressly mentioned in the agreement after the three countries concerned signed an agreement on what to do with the repatriated funds.
He noted that people are mischievously peddling contaminated information out of ignorance, political blackmail, selfish interest, or mischievous intentions.
The Attorney-General, however, clarified that the funds in contention are not in any way connected with assets exempted by former President Obasanjo pursuant to August 18, 2003 agreement by which President Obasanjo “resolved and released all claims and liabilities of any kind which exist or might exist against Atiku Bagudu in favour of or at the suit of any organ of government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
Atiku Bagudu’s family contention which constitute a judicial action is borne out of Obasanjo’s concession and the claims arising therefrom is separate and distinct,” the Minister has said.