$23m Abacha Loot: SERAP Writes Buhari, Seeks ‘Copy Of Agreement With US’


As the United States government plans to return the over $23 million looted by the late dictator Sani Abacha, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has demanded a copy of the agreement.

Last Tuesday, Nigeria and the United States reached an agreement on the return of over $23 million of the Abacha loot.

Five days after, the rights group wrote a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him to “direct the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) to provide our organization with a copy of the agreement the Federal Government recently signed with the United States for the repatriation of $23 million stolen by late General Sani Abacha.”

In the letter dated August 27 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the group said its demand is based on the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, the 1999 Constitution as well as some international obligations Nigeria is meant to follow.

“By the combined reading of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], the Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s international obligations, there are transparency obligations imposed on your government to widely publish the agreement on the $23 million Abacha loot,” the letter read in part.

“The Nigerian Constitution, Freedom of Information Act, and the country’s anti-corruption and human rights obligations rest on the principle that citizens should have access to information regarding their government’s activities.”