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U.S, Other Countries Have Refused to Return Recovered Stolen Assets from Nigeria – Dabiri-Erewa, Prof. Sagay Appeal to Nigerians to Lend their Voices to Campaign

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Abike Dabiri-Erewa and Professor Itse Sagay

The duo of the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay and Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, have called on Nigerians home and abroad to join hands in the call for the unconditional and immediate release of recovered stolen assets of Nigeria stashed abroad.

This was the call made by at a joint press conference in Abuja.

“This is the time for Nigerians in the Diaspora and every friend of Nigeria to get involved in the advocacy to recover stolen assets, not just in words, but in deed. We need no apologies from recipients of stolen assets. Our demand is the unconditional return of our stolen national patrimony,’’ Sagay said.

Sagay assured the Western world that Nigeria as a nation has put in place transparent and credible mechanisms to ensure that returned assets are used for the welfare of the people and the victims of the crime of corruption.

He said the timing could not be more appropriate than now as the nation struggles with recession, reduced income from petroleum products, restiveness in South East and South-South and remnants of insurgency in North East with millions of internally displaced persons representing the victims of corruption.

“Any return will go a long way in helping Nigeria resolve the mirage of challenges it is confronted with. Funds returned for instance can be used to construct roads; build schools, improve education; stimulate the economy, build industries to create jobs; provide quality and affordable health-care; guarantee security of lives and property through proper funding of security agencies,’’ he added.

Using the World Bank estimates, Sagay said that one-third of funds allegedly stolen between 2006 and 2013 could have been used to provide 635.18 kilometers of roads; build 36 ultra-modern hospitals across the country; build 183 schools; educate 3,974 children from primary to tertiary level at 25.24 million per child; build 20,062 units of 2-bedroom houses, among many others.

“Between 1960 and 1999 when the country returned to democratic rule for instance, over $400 billion was stolen by corrupt public officers and laundered outside the country while recent revelations showed that between 2006 and 2013, 55 persons allegedly stole or diverted over N1.34tr from public coffers,’’ he revealed.

Sagay said a large part of the stolen funds are stashed away in countries like Switzerland, the United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, among others.

Despite the efforts and achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari in fighting corruption and recovery of all the stolen money, some countries have refused to implement the asset return component of United Nations Conventions Against Corruption (UNCAC).

“Nigeria presently stands to lose another $550 million recovered from the Abacha’s family to the U.S. contrary to the earlier promise by the U.S. to return same to Nigeria,” he said.

Sagay said the amount represented a separate tranche from the earlier $480 million forfeited to the U.S. following a court judgment in August 2014.

Speaking in the same vein, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa decried the uncooperative attitude of the countries where the stolen funds were being stashed.

“America has over $400million that have been officially recovered as stolen funds from Nigeria. But America is keeping the funds, they are telling us about technicalities, they are saying we recovered doesn’t mean we can return. We want every Nigerian in Diaspora, friends of Nigeria, to join this committee in demanding that every Nigeria’s stolen fund recovered in any part of the world should be returned to Nigeria,” She said.

According to her, the person who steals is just as guilty as the person who keeps stolen funds.

The trio of the chairman of ICPC, Barr. Ekpo  Nta, DG, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr. Garba Abari and the Executive secretary of PACAC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye also decried the stringent conditions for repatriation being given by the western countries.

“We will join the committee to embark on an advocacy with Nigerians abroad to appeal to these nations to do everything possible to return what belongs to Nigeria,” they said.

 

19 Comments

  1. Authentic Sunshine

    January 13, 2017 at 7:06 am

    My people this right here is the father of all calls to action. We need to rise together and insist on this return with one voice.
    Before that though, we need a white paper from the government on how these funds will be used. An intention to merely inject recovered loot into our national budget for continous development is not good enough. We need strategic proposals with breakdown of actions/projects in a timelined manner along with intended contractors. The campaign needs be very robust, watertight and willing to be tested.
    A plan should be drawn for return in installments. With evidence of consistent judicious use of returned loot, no government stands a chance of holding on to our monies. Everybody please, tell your sisters, brothers, friends we are waiting. Can the government employ young professionals to make this campaign vibrant and edgy, just so it reaches out to all the relevant people and make desired impact.
    Let me say it again, I stand with Buhari in comparison to other presidential candidates. Alot still needs to be done, but one step at a time.
    This government also needs a platform for people to submit their suggestions on what can be done to tackle other critical aspect of the economy.
    Forgive my epistle.

    • Engoz

      January 13, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      Absolutely. Couldn’t have said it any better. Nigerian government should write a proposal to the Nigerian people detailing what they will use the money for with timelines and date.

    • fleur

      January 14, 2017 at 5:54 am

      Why should they release the funds when the government looks clueless? No concrete plan., nothing. Nada. Zilch. Everything is a national secret. When we hear from them it is when they want to spew untruth that will astound a one year old. Why should we advocate for Nigeria when i have not seen a proposal on how the money will be used to directly change my life in my house?

  2. Nunulicious

    January 13, 2017 at 7:10 am

    #BringBackOurMoney #GiveUsOurMoney #ReturnOurMoney #ReturnNaijaMoney
    Have these people not heard of recession

  3. Authentic Sunshine

    January 13, 2017 at 7:12 am

    My people this right here is the father of all calls to action. We need to rise together and insist on this return with one voice.
    Before that though, we need a white paper from the government on how these funds will be used. An intention to merely inject recovered loot into our national budget for continous development is not good enough. We need strategic proposals with breakdown of actions/projects in a timelined manner along with intended contractors. The campaign needs be very robust, watertight and willing to be tested.
    A plan should be drawn for return in installments. With evidence of consistent judicious use of returned loot, no government stands a chance of holding on to our monies. Everybody please, tell your sisters, brothers, friends we are waiting. Can the government employ young professionals to make this campaign vibrant and edgy, just so it reaches out to all the relevant people and make desired impact.
    Let me say it again, I stand with Buhari in comparison to other presidential candidates. Alot still needs to be done, but one step at a time.
    This government also needs a platform for people to submit their suggestions on what can be done to tackle other critical aspect of the economy.
    Forgive my epistle.

  4. Odufa

    January 13, 2017 at 7:14 am

    Lols, we have to launch a campaign #bringbackourcash so that they will know that we are serious.

  5. Authentic Sunshine

    January 13, 2017 at 7:15 am

    BN abeg no need to post 2nd time.

  6. A Real Nigerian

    January 13, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Who are these foolish people?
    Hypocrites trying to act like saints when they were actually the ones involved in said corruption.
    For years, they watched people lie, steal and fly money overseas and now they are coming out with this BS?
    Do they actually think it is easy to return/convert stolen Nigerian funds that have been incorporated into the societies of other countries in one way or another?
    Stupid black people. You allowed your own citizens loot your country for years, now you are finding a way to blame the white man for something just like they always do.

    • Nunulicious

      January 13, 2017 at 10:15 am

      You’re like a child that cuts off his nose to spite his mother. Does it make it right? To hold on to our money after 10 years? Despite us forfeiting $400 million dollars to them? Demand for what is yours.
      It is my money and my parents money and my grandparents money. Give it back! #BringBackOurCash #SomebodytellUSa #returnNaijamoney

  7. keke driver

    January 13, 2017 at 8:35 am

    NO WE WON’T!!!….It’s in better hands cos when they release it to ‘us” it goes into private bank accounts…Nde Oshi

    • Nunulicious

      January 13, 2017 at 10:20 am

      Its better for the money to be inside the Nigerian economy even if its held by a couple of people. Soon, we would pry their fingers open! Your statement is like a child who cuts off his nose to spite his mother. Does it make it right? To hold on to our money after 10 years? Despite us forfeiting $400 million dollars to them? Demand for what is yours.
      It is my money and my parents money and my grandparents money. Give it back!
      #BringBackOurMoney #GiveUsOurMoney #ReturnOurMoney #ReturnNaijaMoney
      #BringBackOurCash

    • fleur

      January 14, 2017 at 5:57 am

      But the money never really stays in here. Temi and her family and the mbadiwe twins and otger self mades like toke spend the money outside. Zahra’s Louis vuitton bags are not made in Nigeria. Let them keep it. I don’t care. I feel better they can’t access it

  8. willz

    January 13, 2017 at 9:52 am

    we are not lending our voice anything. you people should go and sleep.

  9. Authentic Sunshine

    January 13, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Still awaiting moderation since 3 hrs ago? I’m here waiting. Shaa delete one and post one.

  10. nene

    January 13, 2017 at 11:51 am

    i’ve always said these developed countries have our money, they look down on us. that’s why i’m not bothered when they have to deal with millions of illegal immigrants from africa, they partake in corruption and stealing from our country, so they should deal with illegals.

  11. Tolulope

    January 13, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Oh now you need us Mr Jailer?You’ve wrongly but intentionally accused all your politically perceived enemies of theft and fraud, we demanded you show us prove that they truly stole the huge amount of money you’re accusing them of, but you’re now all over our faces with your baseless lies as usual, shifting blame on the international body again..You know what? We’re not fools…we’ll be waiting patiently till 2019.

  12. tunmi

    January 13, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    They said technicalities. Attorney General’s office, where are you?

  13. Tony Blaze

    January 13, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    There is no way developed countries will return back the looted funds because they didn’t force any of our leaders to invest in their economy neither did they put a gun to their heads to bring it under duress. If you willingly and generously paid money into my account and you’re broke tomorrow, you don’t expect me to pay back the money you gave to me. Also, if they release the funds it will weaken their economy as they will run at a huge loss.

    I don’t think Nigerians should join the movement as there is nothing in it for us. Assuming the funds were disbursed our selfish leaders will still embezzle it into their private purses, so whats the need of fighting for something that isn’t worth it? Leave them to handle their matter themselves, they are all bunch of thieves who keep stealing from the masses and enriching their pockets.

  14. GANNY OGUNSHAKIN

    January 13, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    I certainly did not blame those Countries for not returning the stolen monies back to Nigeria. All the recovered monies during the last administration of President Badluck Jonathan was stolen again by those in authority then. In my own opinion, I believe those Countries should use these recovered monies to directly pay down some of the loans granted to Nigeria instead of handling the stolen monies to another sets of thieves. A word is enough for the wise. I’m just saying.

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