Nigeria’s Attorney General of Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami and Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu, are under the radar of the United States government over acts of corruption and rights abuses in relation to the management of the Abacha loot.
It was gathered that besides Malami and Magu, other members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet are also being processed for sanctions by the United States.
While it was gathered that Malami has pocketed over $250million from the Abacha loots, Pointblanknews learnt that the attorney general and Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu, shared some of part of the recovered loot, claiming that it was commission paid to negotiators.
A case has also been filed in New Jersey, challenging Malami’s huge amount he demanded for commission from the Abacha repatriated loots.
Pointblanknews can report that the US has invoked the Magnistsky Act on the two government officials and several other members of Buhari’s government.
In 2016, Congress enacted the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which allows the US government to sanction foreign government officials implicated in human rights abuses anywhere in the world.
Recall that a US Senator Charles Grassley recently asked the US government to withhold the repatriation of $320 million Abacha loot to Nigeria citing President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to corporate with the US Department of Justice to finalise a second forfeiture action against a separate $100m loot as well as intending to return the money to an official who was involved in corruption with Abacha.
He insisted that it was critical for congress to understand what steps the US government was taking before it helps to transfer “millions of dollars to Nigeria to ensure that the money is not fueling more corruption and government abuses”.
Grassley who also decried the lack of safeguards the money will be used for what has been agreed upon, also tackled the Attorney-General Abubakar Malami and EFCC acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu, saying under their guidance the Buhari administration has clamped down on anyone voicing opposition to the government.
The lawmaker who chairs Senate Committee on Finance, stated this in a letter he wrote to Deborah Connor, who is Chief Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section of the Department of Justice (DOJ), US on April 1, 2020.
The senator’s action was in light of a report by Bloomberg on the U.S. government’s resistance to a plan by the Nigerian government to transfer over $110 million to Mr Bagudu from money stolen from Nigerian treasury by the late dictator.
Sources at the U.S Congress told pointblanknews.com that a bipartisan committee is under serious considerations to consider reports of “fraud and gross abuse of power and human rights brought against top members of the Buhari’s Government.”
Reacting, Malami had denied that there was any such agreement between the government and Mr Bagudu.
Despite denials by Buhari’s administration on the planned transfer of $110 million Abacha loot to Bagudu, court papers in the US showed that the administration signed two agreements with the governor that effectively sealed the transfer of the money to him.
However, a source who is conversant with the matter told Pointblanknews.com that “Malami and Magu are currently under the radar of the the US government for corruption and right abuses.
“The magnitsky Act is being invoked on the two leaders and several other members of the Buhari’s Government.“
The source added, “The reason why U.S authorities have been questioning the Abacha loots repatriated to Nigeria under Buhari’s Govt is because of huge commissions being demanded by Attorney General Abubakar Malami. Malami alone has pocketed over $250million from the Abacha loots!
“The $311million Abacha loot recently repatriated to Nigeria was over $500million. Your thieving Attorney General Abubakar Malami and Gov Abubakar Bagudu shared the remaining, claiming it was commission paid to negotiators. Malami is neck deep in corruption and on U.S watchlist!
“Several of the Ministers and officials of Govt may be placed on ban or other sanctions. The attempt at having past retired Diplomats in Nigeria use their contacts to lobby for support for Buhari failed. Lobbyist in Washington DC were paid millions of dollars in an attempt to help whitewash the Nigerian government.
“The Buhari’s Govt is concerned over battered image abroad linked with corruption and the killing of Christians for which it has been severally criticized for doing little or nothing to stop,” the source said.