The federal government has denied entering into any deal with the Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu, to pay him the sum of $100 million from the $306million that will be recovered from the family of former Head of State, late General Sani Abacha.
The United States government which is expected to repatriate the money domiciled in the country had raised alarm over the development forcing the federal government to react.
Buguda had also made the claim which is one of the reasons the US has given conditions on how the money would be repatriated.
The issue is currently in the US court.
However, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), in a statement weekend insisted that the agreement on how to recover the money was presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval.
He said that the claims by the Kebbi State governor will soon be decided in court.
Malami’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, in the statement said Nigeria is working with the United States and other countries to recover whatever has been stolen and kept overseas.
According to the statement, “It is pertinent to recall at this juncture that prior to the 2020 agreement with the United States and Island of Jersey, the federal government has signed an agreement for the return of over $300 million in 2017, which was effectively deployed for the purpose for which it was agreed to be applied without any issue of reputation
“The FGN is also negotiating the recovery of assets from several countries and the agreements for the recoveries and the procedure for recoveries are always presented to Federal Executive Council for approval and duly made public once the processes have been concluded. No third-party interest was captured in the Council memo that was approved by the Council.”
Malami also explained that the corruption proceeds from other Nigerians like former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, former petroleum minister, Deziani Alison-Madueke, among others are being recovered.
He added, “In the same manner that Nigeria is asserting its rights to the assets, there are others, including individuals, entities and countries, who have rights and who have gone to court to contest the legality or otherwise of Nigeria’s claims against their assets.
“It is well known that the USA and the Bagudu family have been in court since 2014 over assets already rescinded under the 2003 Agreement. The matters are to be determined in the United Kingdom and the United States Courts.
“The Bagudu family assets in contention, which constitute a distinct and separate cause of action, does not have anything to do with the assets already recovered and being recovered under the Abacha 2014 non-prosecution agreement.
“It is, therefore, mischievous and pedestrian for anyone to seek to turn the law and the facts on its head on the matter of repatriation, whose terms are clearly spelt out and agreed among the parties.”