A federal high court in Abuja has ordered that the details of the spending of $5 billion Abacha loot be made public.
In a judgment delivered on July 3, James Omotosho, presiding judge, ordered President Bola Tinubu to “disclose the exact amount of money stolen by General Sani Abacha from Nigeria”, the total amount recovered, and “all agreements signed on same by the governments of former Presidents (Olusegun) Obasanjo, (Umaru) Yar’Adua, (Goodluck) Jonathan and (Muhammadu) Buhari”.
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/407/2020 was filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).
The court ordered the federal government through the Ministry of Finance to furnish SERAP with the full spending details of the Abacha loot within seven days of the judgment.
The court said the Ministry of Finance’s excuse of being unable to account for the requested details “has no leg to stand in view of section 7 of the Freedom of Information Act”.
The court dismissed all the objections raised by the federal government and upheld SERAP’s arguments.
Consequently, Omotosho ordered the 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 (is) carrying out the projects since the return of democracy in 1999 till date”.
The court also ordered the disclosure of “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.”