Reps investigates $16.9m legal services for the recovery of Abacha’s loot, urges Buhari to suspend payment


House of Representatives Thursday set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the engagement of Oladipo Okpeseyi and Temitope Adebayo for $16.9 million for the recovery of the $321 million being part of Abacha loot from Luxembourg.

It also urged president Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the payment of the said whooping sums of money or any part thereof pending the outcome of its investigation spanning for a period of six weeks.

These resolutions followed an adopted motion sponsored by Hon. Mark Terseer Gbillah.

In his lead debate, Gbillah pointed out that Mr. Enrico Monfrini, a Swiss lawyer was engaged by the Nigerian government since 1999 to work on recovering the Abacha loot for which the sum of $321 million was a part and had finished the Luxembourg part of the job since 2014 when Mohammed Bello Adoke was the Attorney-General of the federation.

He further affirmed, ” that Mr. Mofrini had since been paid by the federal government for his legal services for the recovery of the money which was then domiciled with the Attorney-General of Switzerland pending the singing of an MOU with Nigeria to avoid the issues of accountability around previous recoveries”.

The lawmaker also declared that all that was left was the singing of the said MOU, saying it was a government -to-government communication for the money to be repatriated to Nigeria.

It was at this juncture that the lawmakers wondered why the current minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the federation, Abubakar Malami should curiously engage the services of the two Nigerian senior advocates for $16.9 million without due process.

The House also noted that the two senior advocates had worked for Buhari and the defunct Congress for Progressives Change, CPC, when Malami also served the party as legal advisers, hence the motion and the unanimous resolutions.

Besides, Gbillah said actual work had been concluded by Monfrini and that he had been paid by the Nigerian government and, that the terms of agreement reached with Mofrini spelt out that no other lawyer would be further engaged for the return of the money to Nigeria.


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