The United States Government has warned that it will recover the over $308million looted and stashed abroad by former Head of State, the late Gen Sani Abacha, if it is re-stolen in Nigeria.
The threat followed a February 4 repatriation pact the Federal Government signed with the Americans and the government of Jersey to return the money.
The pact was sealed 22 years after Abacha’s death and after almost two decades of litigation involving the three parties.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which partook in what is being regarded as the world’s largest asset recovery across borders, said the foreigners warned against the money being re-looted.
The Commission’s Secretary, Mr. Olanipekun Olukoyede, stated this in Lagos last Friday during an anti-corruption walk organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
Olukoyede said: “Two weeks ago, I was privileged to be on the team that went to recover $308million for Nigeria. They are from Washington.
“You know what the Oyinbos told us when we wanted to sign the treaty? They had the audacity to look into our eyes and said: ‘If you people steal this money again, we will collect it back from you.’
“I stood up against them, I said: ‘We are not a corrupt nation. A few people might have stolen money, but Nigeria is not a corrupt nation. We have a lot of youths who are not corrupt.
“And you know it is not their fault, (they said that) because they have seen recovered loot being looted again.”
Public money looted by Abacha during his five years in power is estimated to be about $5 billion.
Since 1998, Nigeria has been finding the loot mostly in the United Kingdom, France, the United States, and New Jersey.
The anti-corruption walk, tagged: “Nigerian Youth Walk against Corruption” held simultaneously across the country.
The Lagos version featured a walk across Lagos Island and Ikoyi and included EFCC staff, NYSC members and officials, among others.
Olukoyede also advised young people to be diligent and to shun corruption.
He said: We have arrested so many youths. If we keep putting youths in jail, what is going to be the future of Nigeria?
“So, we want to encourage you; where ever you see corrupt practice, say no to it. Resist it. If anyone is trying to lure you to it, say no. You can win by integrity. Integrity pays….
“Very soon as Youth Corp members will start job-hunting. But where are the jobs? Why aren’t you getting the jobs? A few people have plundered the country’s resources.
‘But let me assure them that at the EFCC, we are not relenting. Let corruption fight back, we will stand against it. We will fight corruption. We will send them to jail. We are not going to give them any chance again in Nigeria.”
BREAKING: Nigeria Records 10 New Cases Of Coronavirus, Total Now 224
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control(NCDC) on Sunday confirmed 10 new cases of coronavirus.
Six cases were confirmed in Lagos, two cases confirmed in the FCT, two in Edo.
Two new deaths have been recorded in Lagos and Edo State with 27 patients discharged.
As at 11:15 am 5th April there are 224 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria.
Twenty-seven have been discharged with five deaths.
Three Nigerians Die Of Coronavirus In US
The Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen, has confirmed the death of three Nigerians from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the United States.
Okoyen made the announcement in a statement in New York on Saturday evening.
He said one of them, a doctor from Abia, contracted the virus while on duty in New York, the epicentre of the pandemic in the U.S.
The envoy identified the second person as 25-year-old Bassey Offiong, a final year Chemical Engineering student of Western Michigan University whose case has been reported by the Nigerian media.
Okoyen said: “It is regrettable to announce that three Nigerians have died of COVID-19 in the United States of America.
“The first case was a 60-year-old lady, Hajia Laila Abubakar Ali of Kano descent, who died on March 25, while receiving treatment at the Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, New York.
“Secondly, 25-year-old Bassey Offiong from Calabar, a final year Chemical Engineering student of Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, died on Saturday, March 28, at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.
“Unfortunately, the last case was a medical practitioner, Dr Caleb Anya, from Ohafia in Abia State.
“He died while rendering service to humanity on the forefront of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic in New York on April 1.
“On behalf of the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York, I wish to extend our condolences to the families of the deceased Nigerians in this tragic circumstance.’’
The consul general saluted the sacrifice of medical personnel and other essential workers risking their lives on the frontline to save others.
“We are particularly very proud of Nigerian medical professionals in the USA who form part of the incredible workforce in the service of humanity at this time,’’ he added.
BREAKING: Nigeria Records Five New COVID-19 Cases, Total Now 214
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has reported five new cases of coronavirus in the country, taking the total number of infections to 214.
According to NCDC, “Five new cases of #COVID19 have been reported in Nigeria: three in Bauchi and two in the FCT, Abuja.
As at 10:10 pm 4th April there are 214 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria. Twenty-five have been discharged with two deaths”
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