Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress has mocked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over its recent criticism after another tranche of monies stolen by a former Nigeria military leader, Sani Abacha, was returned.
The PDP, the main opposition party, earlier on Wednesday, demanded that the $311 million repatriated Abacha loot be handed over to the National Assembly ”to avoid being re-looted by the current administration through existing projects”.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has uncovered fresh plots by the cabal in the Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to use fake subheads and duplicated projects as ploy to re-loot the recently repatriated $311millon,” the party had claimed.
Between 2003 and 2020, Nigerian governments had recouped over $2 billion of the stolen monies stashed in foreign countries by the Abacha regime.
Aside the about $825 million previously retrieved by Abdulsalami Abubakar regime, the former President Olusegun Obasanjo-led administration retrieved over a billion dollars while the total repatriated funds by the APC-led administration currently stands at $633 million. Mr Obasanjo ruled under the PDP banner.
Those funds were released to the Nigerian governments under different agreements, mostly tied around human and infrastructural development projects across the nation, even though the end results remain scanty.
APC mocks rival
In a reaction, the party described the allegation levelled against it as another attempt borne of the opposition’ s desire to tarnish the image of the current administration.
“Of course, we understand PDP’s frustrations. Its unsuccessful and serial attempts to tar the APC government with the corruption toga in order to blur its own image as a party that personifies corruption in words and deeds has turned the party into a laughing stock,” the APC’s spokesperson, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said in the statement.
“On the recovery of $311million, we refer the PDP to the 2020 Asset Return Agreement which requires the fund to be transferred to a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Asset Recovery designated account and which would then be paid to the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) designated as the project management and execution authority within the next fourteen days.
“The federal government has committed itself that the assets will be invested in expediting the construction of major infrastructure projects across Nigeria, and particularly, this administration’s legacy projects, namely: Lagos – Ibadan Expressway; Abuja – Kaduna-Kano Expressway and the Second Niger Bridge as well as the Mambilla Power Project which, when completed, will provide electricity to some three million homes in Nigeria,” he further stated.
Mocking the PDP further, Mr Issa-Onilu said the release of the funds is “an indictment on successive PDP administrations which many countries found too corrupt and with a renowned propensity to reloot the stolen monies, hence they held on to much of the funds.”