Justice James Omotosho of the Federal High Court Abuja has ordered the Nigerian government to provide a comprehensive account of approximately $5 billion looted by late General Sanni Abacha, the former military Head of State. The order for accountability covers the tenures of former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan, and Muhammadu Buhari.
In response to a Freedom of Information suit filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Justice Omotosho ruled that the government, under the administration of President Bola Tinubu, must disclose the exact amount stolen by Abacha, the total amount recovered, and all agreements signed regarding the looted funds by the previous administrations.
The court further directed the government to reveal the details of projects executed using the Abacha loot, including their locations and the names of companies and contractors involved. It also mandated the disclosure of the specific roles played by the World Bank and other partners in the execution of projects funded by the Abacha loot during the tenures of former presidents Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan, and Buhari.
SERAP, in a letter to President Tinubu, called for immediate compliance with the court’s judgment, emphasizing the importance of upholding the rule of law, transparency, and accountability. The organization stated that implementing the judgment would restore trust in the judiciary and set a precedent against impunity for grand corruption.
Defendants in the case include the Minister of Finance and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.