$322m Abacha’s loot: Group faults disbursement plan

AbachaThe Advocacy for Integrity and Economic Development (AIED) has faulted Federal Government’s plan to share part of the repatriated $322,000,000 Abacha loot from Switzerland to the poor and vulnerable.

Special Assistant to the President on Justice Reforms, Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu, said on June 20 that the Federal Government plans to disburse N5,000 to 302,000 households categorised as poor and vulnerable in 19 states.

But, AIED said how the households were compiled was faulty as the figures were not provided by the National Population Commission (NPC).

It said the money should be better used in providing social amenities and projects in the rural areas.

In a statement by its Media and Publicity Director Comrade O’Seun John, the group noted that there will still be a balance of N114. 4billion when N5,000 is shared to 302,000 households.

It wondered whether the sharing plan was not a plot to distribute campaign funds and re-loot the money considering that the households were compiled with input from government officials.

The group said: “AIED consider this proposed act as a deceitful venture laced with the bead of corruption and graft enablement by the Federal Government. The conservative naira equivalent of the returned loot stands at a whooping N115, 920, 000, 000.

“This huge fund can best be channeled into providing basic social amenities and development projects that will be of direct benefits to Nigerians in the rural communities and most importantly, long Iasting, rather than throwing it on a one-off payment exercise.

“Similarly, the proposed disbursement exercise in practical terms looks more like an avenue to re-loot the repatriated fund using a complex web of syndicated pyramid.

“The composition and compilation of the National Social Register (NSR) intended to be used for the exercise is questionable, as this register was not provided by the NPC but built through inputs from state government officials, most of whom have over time been involved in ghost-worker scheme in the civil and public service.

“The NSR does not in any way represent the statistics of the much evangelised vulnerable Nigerians but rather the desire of those relied upon to provide the data.”

AIED said the plan to distribute N5,000 to 302,000 households comes to about N1.5billion, which is less than one percent of the actual repatriated fund.

“The big question then is: what happens to the remaining N114, 410, 000, 000.

“The controversy that greeted the process of the loot repatriation where the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), allegedly tried manoeuvring the procedure by creating an avenue for his cronies to get N6billion from the loot in work duplication has punctured any silo of trust and sincerity of the Federal Government in making judicious use of the fund.

“We hope this new and ambiguous disbursement tactics is not an early avenue to distribute campaign funds,” the group added.

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