President Buhari’s speech underestimated Sani Abacha’s $5 billion loot - ASCAB

Alliance for Surviv­ing COVID-19 and Beyond, (ASCAB), a group led by prominent Nigerian human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has said that President Mu­hammadu Buhari’s claim that late dictator, Sani Abacha, stole $1 billion con­tradicts the figures earlier released by his own officials.

The group described as inconsistent the President’s statement contained in an ar­ticle he wrote for the interna­tional magazine, Newsweek adding that the $1bn quoted by Buhari is barely one fifth of the total amount top officials of the same government claimed to have recovered from the late military henchman.

In a statement signed by ASCAB Secretary for Pub­licity, Adewale Adeoye and made available to newsmen on Monday said that the President’s article falls short of reflecting the stark realities of corruption at the home front and had ridiculed the image of the country as forebears of truth.

“There is a wide gap be­tween the $1b President Bu­hari claimed Abacha had sto­len and the $5b earlier admitted by the same government. This raises fundamental questions about the whole gamut of the campaign against corruption which is one of the focal points of Buhari’s regime.”

The group insisted that the inconsistency has raised fresh dusts that suggest the Federal Government is con­cealing its knowledge about the extent the country was gang-raped by an outstand­ing rogue regime that ruled the country for five years.

“Buhari’s views were pub­lished in last week’s edition of Newsweek magazine. Pres­ident Buhari, in the Newsweek wrote that “close to $1bn of funds stolen from the people of Nigeria under a previous, undemocratic junta in the 1990s that have now been re­turned to our country from the US, UK and Switzerland,” yet Transparency International, (TI) said the FG recovered not less than $3.6 billion from the Abacha loot from 1998-2020.

ASCAB, established by la­bour and over 70 civil society spread across Nigeria came in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic to ensure tiers of government are pinned down to the highest levels of fiscal responsibility in the face of economic meltdown associat­ed with COVID-19.

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