Tuesday 16 February 2016

EFCC Traces N6.18 Billion Abacha Loot To Top Lawyer

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is on the trail of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Damian Dodo, over £22.5million (N6.18billion) the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, allegedly hide in the Island of Jersey.

The Nation reports that the anti-graft agency is also uncertainty over the whereabouts of over $400million Abacha loot on the Island. The EFCC might question Dodo, over the cash “any moment from now.”

Dodo, last night revealed that a UK-based lawyer, Erico Monfrini cooperated with a three-man Federal Government team —Dodo, ex-Attorney-General of the Federation Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) and EFCC’s former secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Akonmaye.

A source within the agency said: “We are probing the whereabouts of £22.5m (N6.18billion) loot of the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha which was recovered from the Island of Jersey. The EFCC cannot locate where the money was remitted to.

“According to records, the late Head of State allegedly stashed the funds through a Lebanese called Bhojwani. But when the Office of the AGF was alerted by a whistleblower, the government of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan opened discussion with the Attorney-General of the Island of Jersey.

“The AG of the Island of Jersey cooperated fully with the government, leading to the repatriation of the £22.5m. We want to know where the money is; we need records from those involved.

“We are inviting Damian Dodo, who played a key role in securing the £22.5m (N6.18billion) loot for the Federal Government to give the details.”

According to the source, it was uncertain if the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan collected the $400million Abacha loot also kept on Jersey Island.

“There is also uncertainty about $400million Abacha loot on the Island. The government of Island of Jersey pledged to repatriate the stashed funds and even initiated a process towards that. As I speak with you, no one can account for the $400million.

“What we have been hearing is that the Government of Island of Jersey was demanding a proportionate part of the funds. Again, there is uncertainty whether the loot was remitted or is diverted or still on the Island.

“This is why the EFCC team is stepping up investigation into Abacha loot on this tiny island,” the source said.

Dodo told The Nation correspondent last night that: “The EFCC was part of the negotiation for the repatriation of the £22.5m (N6.18billion) loot; it should just go through its records instead of calling for my head over nothing. The former Secretary of EFCC represented the commission at every stage of the recovery.

“The terms of agreement were clearly spelt out and the Federal Government provided the account in which the recovered funds should be paid. At inter-governmental level, the EFCC can ask the Federal Government to contact the Government of Island of Jersey for all transaction records.

“I have nothing to hide. No repatriation negotiation was done under the carpet at all. We did our best for this nation in recovering the looted funds. The Government of Island of Jersey wanted the substantial part of the money and we said ‘no’. We said Nigeria needed the money more than the Island of Jersey.

“It is just vendetta. I have nothing to hide. They have searched all my accounts in order to find out whether or not I transferred money to Adoke. They could not find anything against me. I think they are after the former AGF at all cost.

“The EFCC was involved from the beginning to the end, why can’t they check their records instead of scandalising me.

Reacting to the $400 million still hidden on the Island of Jersey, Dodo said: “They should get in touch with the Government of Island of Jersey.”

The ex-AGF who recently spoke at the opening ceremony of the 8th Edition of the National Seminar on Economic Crimes held at the EFCC training school in Abuja, mentioned the recovery of the money but declined to give details.

“Only recently, we negotiated the recovery and repatriation of the sum of £22.5m from the Island of Jersey, being the proceeds of money laundered from Nigeria.

“I wish to seize this opportunity to commend the Attorney-General of Jersey for the support and cooperation we received and urge other jurisdictions to also extend to us, the much needed cooperation to enable us repatriate stolen assets within their jurisdictions.

“Our experience has shown that despite international condemnation of corruption and money laundering, many jurisdictions where stolen assets to victim states or impose stringent conditions for its repatriation with attendant negative consequences on victim states.

“We also intend to vigorously pursue stolen assets and the confiscation of other instrumentalities of crime within the country by strengthening our confiscatory and forfeiture laws,” the ex-AGF said.

The EFCC recently increased its temple in the ongoing investigations into the famous Halliburton scam. The spokesman of the agency, Wilson Uwujaren, said Dodo had been initially questioned for eight hours in connection to the investigation.

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