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Sunday, 7 May 2017

Exposed!!! SERAP Writes Trump concerning Abacha Loot


The Embassy of the United States of America in Nigeria, has said it would deliver a letter by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to President Donald Trump, requesting the release of 500 million dollars worth of proceeds traced to former Military Head of State, Sani Abacha to Nigeria.

A statement signed by the SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, noted that he U.S embassy said: “The Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are in regular communication with the Nigerian Attorney General and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding further cooperation needed to conclude pending asset forfeiture cases and to develop a mechanism for the timely and transparent repatriation of those assets.”

The embassy’s letter signed by David J. Young, Deputy Chief of Mission, follows SERAP’s letter dated February 3, 2017 and signed by the organisation’s U.S. Volunteer Counsel, Professor Alexander W. Sierck and Executive Director Adetokunbo Mumuni.


In the letter, SERAP had told Mr Trump that, “the U.S. Department of Justice must promptly initiate civil asset forfeiture proceedings against the $500 million proceeds of corruption so as to fulfill several non-controversial commitments by the U.S. to assist Nigeria in recovering assets looted by former Nigerian government officials.”

The response of the embassy read in part: “The United States Government supports the Government of Nigeria’s efforts to work with civil society to identify how harm can be remedied through the return of stolen assets. We encourage you to disclose these issues with the Nigerian Attorney General and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who are working closely with the U.S. on the repatriation process.
“We were encouraged by civil society’s role in the development of Nigeria’s Open Government Partnership Action Plan and the commitment to strengthening laws to foster transparency and accountability in the management of recovered and returned assets.”

SERAP had however, noted in its letter that, “the $500 million proceeds are separate from the $480 million of Abacha-origin funds that have been forfeited to the U.S. under an August 2014 U.S. Federal district court order. SERAP’s request is fully consistent with the UN Convention Against Corruption, which both the U.S. and Nigeria have ratified.

“Any bilateral discussions between the U.S. and Nigeria concerning these assets should include clear acknowledgement of the significant role that civil society plays in asset recovery matters.” the group stressed.

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