Alliance for Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, (ASCAB), a group led by prominent Nigerian human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s claim that late dictator, Sani Abacha, stole $1 billion contradicts the figures earlier released by his own officials.
The group described as inconsistent the President’s statement contained in an article he wrote for the international magazine, Newsweek adding that the $1bn quoted by Buhari is barely one fifth of the total amount top officials of the same government claimed to have recovered from the late military henchman.
In a statement signed by ASCAB Secretary for Publicity, Adewale Adeoye and made available to newsmen on Monday said that the President’s article falls short of reflecting the stark realities of corruption at the home front and had ridiculed the image of the country as forebears of truth.
“There is a wide gap between the $1b President Buhari claimed Abacha had stolen and the $5b earlier admitted by the same government. This raises fundamental questions about the whole gamut of the campaign against corruption which is one of the focal points of Buhari’s regime.”
The group insisted that the inconsistency has raised fresh dusts that suggest the Federal Government is concealing its knowledge about the extent the country was gang-raped by an outstanding rogue regime that ruled the country for five years.
“Buhari’s views were published in last week’s edition of Newsweek magazine. President Buhari, in the Newsweek wrote that “close to $1bn of funds stolen from the people of Nigeria under a previous, undemocratic junta in the 1990s that have now been returned to our country from the US, UK and Switzerland,” yet Transparency International, (TI) said the FG recovered not less than $3.6 billion from the Abacha loot from 1998-2020.
ASCAB, established by labour and over 70 civil society spread across Nigeria came in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic to ensure tiers of government are pinned down to the highest levels of fiscal responsibility in the face of economic meltdown associated with COVID-19.