THE renewed stolen asset recovery drive of the Federal Government has yielded remarkable results as Government Thursday in Abuja said it had recovered another N28.3 billion( $175m) from the Abacha family and companies associated with him in Liechtenstein.
This was disclosed Thursday by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) at Abuja during the 2013 ministerial press briefing to mark the mid-term report card of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
Adoke also disclosed that the sum of £122.5 million was recovered from one Raj Arjandes, an Indian and close associate of the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha.
He said the $175 million recovered by government from the Abacha family and associated companies was the aftermath of a confiscation order by the Supreme Court of Liechtenstein.
But the companies said to have facilitated Abacha’s money laundering activities have filed an appeal against the confiscation order, which is already being executed and has yielded the said recovered sums so far.
The appeal for reversal of the confiscation order was said to have been filed at the European Court of Strasbourg.
Adoke said once the appeal is concluded in Nigeria’s favour, the huge sum would be repatriated to the country immediately.
He expressed optimism that the appeal case by the Abacha family and the company would fail because Nigeria has a good case to present through her stolen asset recovery team of lawyers.
However, Adoke said the £Ï22.5million recovered from Abacha’s Indian associate has already been repatriated to Nigeria following the confiscation order by the Royal Court of Jersey.
He said that Arjandes was made to cough out the money on account of his money laundering transactions from Nigeria on behalf of the Abacha family.
To get other looted assets repatriated back to Nigeria, Adoke said his ministry had intensified efforts to trace and repatriate identified Nigerian stolen assets abroad, adding that effective liaison and communication with targeted jurisdiction was being maintained.
He lauded the anti-graft bodies in the country for doing their best to keep corruption at bay in all the sectors of the economy.
He said a National Anti Corruption Strategy (NACS) would soon be put in place to enhance the battle against corruption in the country in a holistic manner.
He said that the decision to float the anti-corruption strategy was informed by Nigeria’s treaty obligations that must be observed.
On the campaign against death sentence, the minister reminded criminal minded Nigerians that capital punishment was still in force in the country.
He said that the global campaign against death penalty by the Amnesty International and other bodies have not metamorphosed into its abolition in the world.