Buhari speaks on $300m Abacha loot, Nigerians who caused P&ID $9.6bn judgement

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday echoed his vow to fight corruption in Nigeria.

This was contained in his Independence Day speech.

Buhari highlighted measures put in place to check graft and stop leakages.

He also gave an update on repatriation of Abacha loot stashed abroad and lamented how some Nigerians cause the P&ID $9.6bn judgement against the country.

He said: “On fighting corruption, our institutional reforms to enforce the Treasury Single Account policy, introduce the Whistle-blowers’ Initiative, expand the coverage of the Integrated Payroll Personnel and Information System as well as the Government Integrated Management Information System have saved billions of Naira over the last four years, and deterred the rampant theft and mismanagement of public funds that have plagued our public service.

“The Ministry of Justice, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will continue to address this menace. We are determined to ensure that transparency and good governance are institutionalized in public service.

“This Administration has fought against corruption, by investigating and prosecuting those accused of embezzlement and the misuse of public resources. We have empowered teams of prosecutors, assembled detailed databases of evidence, traced the proceeds of crimes and accelerated the recovery of stolen funds.

“Furthermore, we partnered with our friends abroad to combat tax evasion, smuggling, terrorism and illicit financial flows. In June 2018, I assented to the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, to provide a domestic legal framework for obtaining international assistance in criminal matters.

“This measure has already strengthened our law enforcement agencies in obtaining evidence, investigating suspects and facilitating the recovery, forfeiture and confiscation of property implicated as proceeds of crime.

“An example is the US$300 million recently identified as part of the Abacha money-laundering case, working closely with the Government of the United States of America. The Federal Ministry of Justice is working with the US Department of Justice to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding to expedite the repatriation of these funds.

“The P & ID Arbitral Award has underscored the manner in which significant economic damage has been caused by the past activities of a few corrupt and unpatriotic Nigerians.”

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