By Samuel Bolaji
The Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Federal Government to provide the details of how it spent about $5bn loot recovered from the late General Sani Abacha.
Justice James Omotosho gave the order last week while delivering judgment on a Freedom of Information suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/407/2020, filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project.
The judge said the govermnent must provide the details within seven days of the judgment.
The court, according to a statement on Sunday by SERAP, ordered the government of President Bola Tinubu to “disclose the exact amount of money stolen by Abacha from Nigeria, and the total amount of the Abacha loot recovered and all agreements signed on same by the governments of former presidents Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan and Buhari.”
The judge faulted the claim by the Ministry of Finance that it had no details of the spending of the Abacha loot.
Justice Omotosho ruled that SERAP’s application had merits and ordered the FG, through the Ministry of Finance, “to furnish SERAP with the full spending details of about $5bn Abacha loot within seven days of this judgment.”
According to SERAP, the court also ordered the Federal 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.”
Justice Omotosho 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.”