The Federal Government again said that it has not entered into any agreement to concede any amount of money to any individual in relation to the over 308 million dollars to be repatriated to Nigeria from the Island of Jersey.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami made the clarification on Wednesday in a statement by Dr Umar Gwandu, his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations.
He said that the federal government is exclusively bound by the tripartite agreement entered into and signed by it, the U.S. and the Island of Jersey for the repatriation of the funds referred to as Abacha III.
He added that no individual was named to be a beneficiary of any amount in the tripartite agreement.
Malami said the international community have developed confidence in the present administration in view of the fact that looted funds recovered before now, were judiciously utilised for high impact, public-oriented projects.
He said that in the document of the agreement, it was clearly spelt out that the monies will be utilised in the Abuja – Kano and Lagos – Ibadan Expressways as well as the 2nd Niger Bridge only.
“Hence, insinuation of a third-party beneficiary outside the scope of the agreement, is therefore baseless and unfounded”.
The Minister said Nigeria has no reputational issues over enforcement of agreements and treaties.
” It is, therefore, an impossibility, and unimaginable, for Nigeria to hand over some amount of money to a third party not expressly mentioned in the agreement after the three countries concerned signed an agreement on what to do with the repatriated funds.
He noted that people are mischievously peddling contaminated information out of ignorance, political blackmail, selfish interest, or mischievous intentions.
“The funds in contention are not in any way connected with assets exempted by former President
Obasanjo pursuant to an August 18, 2003 agreement.
“The agreement resolved and released all claims and liabilities of any kind which exist or might exist against Atiku Bagudu in favour of or at the suit of any organ of government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
Atiku Bagudu’s family’s contention which constitutes a judicial action is borne out of Obasanjo’s concession and the claims arising therefrom is separate and distinct,” the Minister has said.
NAN reports that the minister on Feb.22, said that the federal government will not paying 100 million dollars out of the 308 million dollars it is drawing down as part of the money stashed away in foreign banks by the late head of state, Sani Abacha.