Court orders forfeiture of $9.8m, £74, 000 ‘recovered’ from ex-NNPC GMD.

Zainab Abubakar, a justice of the federal high court, Kano, has ordered the forfeiture of the sums of $9.8m and £74,000 allegedly recovered from Andrew Yakubu, former group managing director (GMD), of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

According to a statement issued by Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the order was sequel to an ex parte application the agency filed seeking an interim forfeiture of the monies to the government.

In her ruling,  Zainab held that “the sum of $9,772,000 and £74,000 which are now in the custody of the applicant (EFCC) are in the interim forfeited to the federal government of Nigeria”.

Last Friday, the anti-graft agency said its operatives raided a building belonging to the former NNPC boss and recovered stacks of dollars and pound sterling stashed away in a fire-proof safe.

Yakubu had earlier reported to the commission’s Kano zonal office where he allegedly admitted being the owner of both the house and the recovered monies.

He is still in the custody of the EFCC.

Nigeria may lose $550 million Abacha loot to U.S. – PACAC

The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, has raised an alarm on the enormous amount of Nigeria’s asset laundered abroad.

The committee called on the press and Nigerians in the Diaspora to join in advocating the return of the asset.

The Chairman of PACAC, Itse Sagay, on Thursday at a press briefing on asset recovery and asset return jointly organised by the committee and the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, said that Nigeria stands to lose another $550 million recovered from the Sani Abacha family, contrary to the earlier promise by the United States to return the loot to Nigeria.

“Between 1960 and 1999 when the country returned to democratic rule for instance, over $400billion was stolen by public officers and laundered outside the country. Money stolen by Abacha’s family alone and stashed away in foreign country was estimated to be about 2-3 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP for every year that Abacha was president.

“At the time of his death, Abacha’s assets were allegedly worth over $4 billion. These funds are just a fraction of Nigeria’s stolen wealth stashed away in foreign countries which can be traced”, Mr. Sagay said.

Mr. Sagay added that Nigeria’s demand for immediate return of stolen funds in foreign countries could not be more timely, as the country struggles with recession, reduced income from petroleum products, and with millions of internally displaced persons representing the victims of corruption.

“Any return will go a long way in helping Nigeria resolve the myriad of challenges it is confronted with.”

The SSA to the President on Foreign Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said there is a huge difference between asset recovery and asset return, stressing that the person who steals is same as the person who refuses to return what was stolen.

“America has over $400million Nigerian money in its coffers, we should join hands in demanding the return of this money. It is against the UN Convention on Corruption, so we should ensure that whatever belongs to Nigeria should be returned. It is our fight, not just Buhari’s fight”, Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa said.

Also speaking, the chief of staff to the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Olaolu Koyede, said that prevention is the best way to fight corruption.

“We are still talking about Abacha loot, which is up to 20 years. Our take is that we need to strengthen our internal capacity so that these monies won’t be looted and moved away.

“The moment the money is moved out of the country, it changes form and becomes very difficult to be returned”, Mr. Koyede added.

One of the issues believed to have been discussed by President Muhammadu Buhari and the visiting U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, during a closed-door meeting in August last year was the return of outstanding money looted by late military dictator, Sani Abacha.

However, Nigeria stands the risk of forfeiting a hefty N218.3 billion ($550 million) already recovered from Mr Abacha’s estate if a suit filed by an American-based Nigerian lawyer against the Nigerian government in a United States federal court is not quickly resolved.

Texas-based attorney, Godson Nnaka, who was contracted by the Nigerian government in 2004 to help find and recover the funds siphoned by Mr Abacha and his associates, has asked the court to appoint him a private attorney of the fund as well as award him 40 per cent of the recovered fund. He claimed he made the request in line with United States law.

In 2004, Mr. Nnaka approached the Olusegun Obasanjo administration with a proposal to help find and recover money stolen by Mr Abacha.

The Attorney-General of the Federation at the time, Akinlolu Olujimi, in a November 25, 2004 letter, instructed Mr. Nnaka “to proceed in a professional manner to recover the funds on behalf of the country.

“Government will only pay for your professional services a percentage as may be agreed for any sum actually recovered,” the letter added.

In a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari in August 2015, Mr. Nnaka said he carried out the task. He claimed he hired a group of lawyers, financial consultants, and academics across the world to help identify and trace the funds.

He also said he travelled to France, England, Switzerland, Angola, Turkey, and Austria, to meet with government officials, law enforcement agents and financial experts with the aim of finding and securing the funds.

2017 Budget: FG Targets N565bn From Recovered Loot, MTN Fine

The Federal Government hopes to raise a total of N565bn from recovered loot and fines to be paid by MTN Nigeria to fund the 2017 budget.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, explained on Monday in Abuja during the public presentation of the 2017 budget breakdown that the disruptions to oil production and falling crude prices had made it impossible for the government to meet majority of its revenue projections.

The event was attended by the ministers of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole; Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh; Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; and Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, among others.

Providing useful insights into how the looted funds would be recovered and used, the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Mr. Ben Akabueze, said that N288.6bn out of the N565bn would come from recovered looted funds.

He said, “With respect to the looted funds for the revenue profile in the 2017 budget, it is a total of N288.6bn. This includes N97.6bn, which is the naira equivalent of $320m expected from the Swiss (government), which is part of what was recovered from the Abacha loot.

“It also includes N72bn that has already been received in cash from cases of recoveries and the balance of N90bn is from other expected recoveries, which are at an advanced stage and we feel comfortable and confident that they will come through in 2017 and have to be reflected in the budget.”

The Nigerian Communications Commission had in October 2015 fined MTN N1.04tn for selling over five million unregistered SIM cards.

The fine was later reduced to N330bn, out of which MTN has paid N50bn to the government. The balance of N280bn will be paid in six tranches over a period of three years.

The persistent attacks on oil installations by militants in the Niger Delta and the harsh operating climate resulting in low tax receipts from companies, according to Udoma, dealt a huge blow on the government’s revenue in the first nine months of this year.

Read More: punchng

N4.7b: Obanikoro Returns N134m To EFCC, Says He Will Repay N450m Next Year

A former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, on Monday returned N30m to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. This brings the total amount of money he has returned to the EFCC to N134m.


A source at the EFCC said, “Obanikoro came on Monday and presented a draft of about N30m. Initially we did not want to collect it because it is small compared to what he is supposed to have given us. However, the legal department advised us to collect it.”


Obanikoro had in October returned N104m to the commission. The ex-minister, who returned to Nigeria last month after spending about 15 months in the United States, was accused of receiving N4.7bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser under the leadership of Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).


Obanikoro had said in his statement of oath at the EFCC that after receiving the money in 2014, he gave N1.219bn to the then governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, while N1.3bn was given to the PDP candidate in Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore.


He also confessed to giving Fayose a separate $5.377m at Spotless Hotel in Ekiti State in the presence of party leaders including the then PDP Secretary, Mr. Tope Aluko.


Obanikoro was said to have kept about N785m for himself, which he allegedly spent while campaigning ahead of the PDP governorship primary in Lagos State. Mr. Jimi Agbaje won the primary.


However, the EFCC asked Obanikoro to return about N584m out of which he had already returned N134m.


At the EFCC office on Monday, Obanikoro promised the detectives that he would return the remaining N450m in 2017.


The source said, “About N450m is remaining and Obanikoro has promised to pay the rest in 2017. He will also be reporting at our office every two weeks.”


At the Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba last week, Mr. Alade Sunday, a manager at Zenith Bank, narrated how Obanikoro delivered about N1.219bn to Fayose’s aide, Abiodun Agbele, for onward transmission to his boss.


He had also said it took the cashiers about 10 days to count the money.


Sunday had said Obanikoro flew with the cash to Akure Airport and the money was loaded into bullion vans.


He had said, “When we got to the airport, we waited for some minutes before the aircraft arrived. When the aircraft offloaded its passengers, one of them appeared to me to be Senator Musliu Obanikoro and the other one appeared to be his ADC, Adewale.


“Agbele walked up to them and had a discussion with them. Thereafter, he signalled me to bring the van. Bags loaded with cash were loaded into the van and Obanikoro’s ADC, Agbele and I drove back to the bank.”


Meanwhile, it was learnt Omisore had appealed to the EFCC to return his passport to him to enable him to travel out of the country.


A source at the commission said, “We cannot return his passport to him now because he has not yet returned half of the money. He has returned only N350m out of N1.3bn. When he returns half, then the EFCC can consider returning the passport to him.”

Nigerian clubs share 240 million Naira loot recovered by anti-graft EFCC.

Top Nigerian clubs including Nembe City have been paid their share of 240 million Naira recovered by anti-graft agency EFCC from a television broadcast agent.


The cash was paid into the Club Owners Association account.


EFCC are set to recover another 100 million Naira from the TV broadcast agent as well as a former sponsor of the league.

The clubs to benefit from this largesse will be those who featured in the now defunct Nigeria Premier League (NPL).


It was also understood that some principal executives during the NPL era were also paid off from this recovered money.


Television rights sales during the NPL era were shrouded in controversies amid allegations of brazen fraud.


It was alleged that the league got less than 10% of the broadcast cash over a period of six years.

Why recovered loot can’t be spent yet – FG

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has revealed that the federal government has, aside cash, recovered landed properties, high valued automobiles and jewelries from looters, pointing out that most of the monies recovered from treasury looters could not be used because they are bug down with litigations.

Adeosun spoke yesterday at the National Assembly during an interactive meeting on the performance of the 2016 Budget with the Senate Committee on Appropriation.

She explained that some of the buildings recovered had been converted into office spaces for government agencies that had no permanent offices, while the high valued cars could be used for the conveyance of foreign dignitaries on a visit to the country.

The minister further let the Senate Committee in on the obstacles being experienced by the Nigerian government on the recovery of stashed loots in Switzerland and United States.

“The process of recovering looted fund is an ongoing process. Indeed, money comes almost on daily basis into those accounts. We have not recovered much from foreign money. It is a little more difficult,” she noted.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN had stated that the Federal Government has no exact figure of Nigeria’s looted funds abroad ; stating that Nigeria would continue to liaise with other countries on the repatriation of looted funds.

Recovered Loot Inadequate To Revive Economy– Minister

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has explained that the looted fund recovered so far by government is far cry from what the country needs to revive the economy.

The minister said this on Friday when he appeared on a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.

According to him, the amount of money recovered is always being made public. “What we have recovered and if my record is right is about N78 billion, and 3 million dollars.

“We have been able to block various accounts in which about 9 billion dollar is found but those are not money available to us because we are still in court over them.

“The government spends N165 billion every month to pay federal civil servants, even what has been so far recovered will not even pay 50 per cent of the salaries in a month.’’

Mohammed assured Nigerians that every penny recovered will be judiciously spent and nobody could re-loot what had been recovered under the administration.

The minister further explained that Nigerians should understand that what had been recovered was so little compared to what the people needed on a continuous basis.

On budget release, he recalled that the Federal Ministry of Finance released N400 billion for capital projects, mostly on roads, railway, and power.

Read More:

Hoodlums Invade Lagos Streets, Kill Worshipper, Loot Shops

There was confusion on the Lagos Island on Friday when about 50 hoodlums, mostly teenagers, invaded five streets, where they killed a resident, Ade Busari, and looted several shops.

It was gathered that the hoodlums were armed with daggers and machetes during the attack.

It was learnt that Busari was killed around 2pm while going for an Islamic prayer.

Busari was reportedly killed on Odunfa Street.

Reporters gathered that the men, who were said to have mobilised from another part of the Lagos Island, vandalised vehicles parked by the roadside.

Policemen from the Adeniji Adele division and operatives of the Rapid Response Squad were said to have attempted to curtail the attack.

A resident on Odunfa Street, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that Busari, who was married with children, was pursued by the armed hoodlums before being hacked to death.

He alleged that Busari was killed by one of the gang’s leaders identified as Azeez, alias Small Zego.

He said, “The boys got to the area around 2pm and began to loot some of the shops. Most traders quickly locked their shops and ran home. The hoodlums did not have guns; but they had daggers and machetes.

“The victim was going to pray in a mosque. As he passed by them, one of the robbers shouted, ‘That’s him. He is one of them.’ They encircled Busari and began to cut him with machetes. One of the gang’s leaders, Azeez, alias Small Zego, brought out a knife and stabbed him to death. The police later came to remove his corpse. There is still tension in the area.”

An Islamic cleric on Massey Street said the police brought four tanks to the area on Saturday.

He said, “People have refused to come to their shops today (Saturday) as a result of the robbery and the death. I could not go for my Islamic prayers on Friday as a result of the tension. But the police brought four tanks to Odunfa on Saturday and peace is gradually returning.”

A trader, who claimed he was stabbed by the hoodlums, said, “I was about locking my shop when the robbers got to my street. One of them stabbed me in the hand because I did not want them to loot my shop. There was a crowd of gangsters; it was as if they were on a rally. They wore only shirts and jean trousers. They vandalised any vehicle and tricycle they found by the roadside. It was after they had looted about three streets that the police brought the tanks.”

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said three suspects were arrested during the attack, adding that they had been charged to court.

She said, “Hoodlums engaged one another in a fight on those streets. They damaged seven vehicles. Three suspects – Komeji Idris, Ola Saka and Ishola Adams – were arrested and they were arraigned in court on Friday.

“They have been remanded at the Ikoyi prison. The police do not have any record of death. However, the family of the deceased can come forward to file a report to assist police investigations. The command is on the trail of other suspects and order has returned to the area now.”

Credit: Punch

FG Targets N150bn Abacha, Ibori Loots

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minster of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, on Tuesday, disclosed plans by the Federal Government to engage acclaimed consultants in its bid to recover another $750m looted and stashed away by a former Head of State, the late Gen. Sani Abacha.



He stated that another £6.9m loot, held by a former Governor of Delta State, Mr. James Ibori, would also be recovered.



The minister, who spoke on the government’s plans when he met with the House of Representatives Committee on Justice, added that the country’s judgment debts stood at N75bn.



The federal government will appoint a foreign lawyer in its effort to recover a total of N150 billion stashed abroad by late former Head of State, General Sani Abacha and former Delta state governor, James Ibori.

Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami announced this in Abuja yesterday while testifying before the House of Representatives committee on Justice.


He said the money was made up N148. Billion ($750 million) allegedly laundered by Abacha and N1. 98 billion (£6.9 million) by Ibori.

Malami said the government would “engage in an aggressive policy” to seek the cooperation of foreign governments to “ensure the repatriation of illicitly-acquired assets.”



According to him, “The collaboration will equally involve the engagement of foreign-based counsel to attend to the matters on behalf of the Federal Government.


“Low-hanging fruits being targeted in this initiative include $750m of the ‘Abacha Loot’ as well as the sum of GBP6.9m of the ‘Ibori loot.’”

The ministry would be in the position to coordinate the recovery of billions of dollars in foreign jurisdictions based on current estimations, he said.

Late Abacha, who ruled Nigeria between 1993 and 1998, allegedly laundered about $5 billion abroad, according to Transparency International.

Liechtenstein agreed to return $227 million in June 2014, while the U.S. froze some $458m hidden by Abacha in bank accounts. Switzerland had in the past returned about $700 million and promised to return another $380m.



The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in August, 2014, that it would repatriate about $480 million to Nigeria.


Part of the returned funds budgeted for purchase of arms was allegedly diverted by top officials of the immediate past administration, which resulted in the ongoing arms probe, involving former National Security Adviser (NSA) Rtd Col Sambo Dasuki and top military officers.


Some European countries like Britain have now set conditions for the return of stolen funds to Nigeria.

As for former Delta State governor, Ibori, (1999 to 2007), who is currently serving a jail term in the United Kingdom for money laundering, he is said to have helped himself with public funds to the tune of over £30 million among others.


Only last week, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration signed an agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the return of stolen Nigerian funds moved to that county.

He said, the ministry would rely on the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 (ACJA) and the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2013 to ensure expeditious prosecution of those accused of terrorism.


He said based on the criminal justice law, the ministry had so far recovered 8,000 files from the Nigeria Police to be prosecuted by the ministry’s in-house lawyers.

He added that the ministry was currently processing about 800 terrorism cases for prosecution, saying the funds required for the successful prosecution of the cases as well as the general coordination of the criminal justice sector “were fully captured” in the ministry’s budget proposal.

He said the ministry would remain committed to the promotion and defence of constitutional values and principles in governance.


On the ministry’s 2016 budget proposal, he said the ministry needed an additional N960.888 million for harmonization of salaries of state counsel in order to bring them relatively at par with their counterparts in states’ ministries of justice and other institutions within the justice sector.


To this end, he said, provision of N300,000 was made as annual ‘robe allowance’ to each state counsel in line with practice.



Credit: Daily Trust

Robbers Arrested While Arguing Over How To Share Their Loot

Three members of a 5-man robbery gang Tope Oyeleye, aka Elede; Abiola Yekini and Yusuf Olohuntoba, aka Ete , were arrested on Monday by policemen attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of Agbado Police Division.
It was gathered that Elede and Ramoni, had robbed some houses in Owonikoko and Ayinla areas around 2am on Monday, where they stole money and phones, among other household items.
They were said to have met on a street in Ayinla to share their loot when an argument ensued among them over how to share the loot.
A resident on the street reportedly saw them and called the police, who quickly got to the area and arrested three of them.
Items recovered from them include 16 phones, one DVD player, two cut-to-size guns with a live cartridge, two spanners, a burglar proof cutter, among others.
Twenty-one-year old Elede, who hails from Ekiti State, confessed to the crime. He said:

“I was initially selling cannabis, but I joined a robbery gang three years ago when I was not making enough money from the drug. We were seven in number bearing Oyenusi; I am Oyenusi 07. We robbed a banker of N7m early this year around RAFCO, Agbado. We killed him because he confronted us. I got N650,000 in that operation. The six others have been killed.

“We were six in the Monday night operation. I was given four phones and a sum of N2,000 as my share. There was an argument between Ramon, Sule, J.J, Absorber and I over the sharing formula. We were on it when the policemen came. Ete was not involved but he is my friend.”

Yekini, a 28-year-old indigene of Ibadan, said:

“I was introduced to the gang by a friend called Anu when I told him I needed N24,000 to pay my shop rent. I tried in vain to borrow the money from my neighbours.

“This is my first operation and my role was to stay outside to watch for other members robbing residents. I collected the four phones and N500 they gave me without arguing with them. I really regret what I did.”

Ete, who is a cobbler, said he was not a robber, adding that he was just a friend of Elede. However, the police said his fate would be determined after the investigation.

The Ogun State Police spokesperson, DSP Muyiwa Adejobi, confirmed the arrest. He said the suspects would be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Eleweran, for further investigation.


State Of Jersey To Return £315m Abacha Loot To Nigeria

The State of Jersey, the biggest territory in the Channels Island, is set to return £315 million Abacha loot to Nigeria.

Mr Micheal Birt, the Ballif of Jersey stated this at a dinner in honour of Dr Dalhatu Tafida, Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK during a state visit to the Island.

Birt, who doubles as the Island’s Civic Head of State and ceremonial head, is the highest ranking official in the Jersey order of precedence.

Island, famous for its transparent banking services, had previously repatriated in two tranches £140 million of the loot.

Late Sani Abacha

The Europe correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports in London that the money was laundered on behalf of Abacha by Mr Raj Bhojwani, an Indian businessman. Bhojwani is currently serving an eight-year sentence in a UK prison.

Speaking on Jersey’s financial services and global perception of the Island, Birt said that the repatriated loot was in line with ongoing campaign against money laundering.

He said: “We have done a lot to clean up the image of the Island as a safe haven for stolen wealth. What we have in place is a transparent and legal finance heaven where only legal funds can be deposited and accessed by investors.”

Source – Vanguard NGR