The withdrawal of a N100 billion suit against the Abacha family by the federal government is a politically motivated move tantamount to “flushing away” the billions of naira looted by late general Sani Abacha, the Conference for Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), has said.
The ministry of finance had stated on Thursday that as part of negotiations to expedite the recovery of the funds looted by General Sani Abacha, “the Abachas agreed to discontinue their suit before the European Courts for Human Rights, [while] the federal government equally, subsequently, withdrew the case against the Abachas, paving the way for the release of the looted funds by Liechtenstein”.
However, CNPP claimed that President Goodluck Jonathan went into a political deal with the Abachas so that he could get the votes of the people of Kano in 2015.
“It is with outrage that Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) received the news from minister of finance and coordinating minister for the economy, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, that President Goodluck Jonathan is flushing down the drain, N100 billion — in fact N413.68 billion — for the 2015 presidential election,” CNPP spokesman, Austin Ibok, wrote in a statement.
“If Mohammed Abacha was still in the opposition, will President Jonathan wave N100 billion or, to be exact, N413.68 billion? Does it add arithmetically to flush away N100 billion to ease the return of N36.32 billion?”
CNPP wondered if the Jonathan government is not the same government that recently publicly pronounced its intention to recover N446 billion from Mohammed Abacha
“Is it only the Abachas who looted and siphoned our commonwealth abroad? Is the Jonathan administration not aware of the favourable international laws for the recovery of looted funds?” it queried.
“We are at pains that not only has President Jonathan blatantly refused to officially and diligently request for the recovery of our looted funds by other Nigerians, he has — because of the votes he hopes the Abachas will garner for him in Kano — flushed away N413.68 billion.”
CNPP maintained that the withdrawal is politically motivated, saying the reason given by the finance minister for the withdrawal of Abacha’s charges is “patently false”.
“In sum, President Jonathan is corrupting the electoral process and has indeed started rigging the 2015 presidential election,” it said.
“He also needs to be reminded that waving and limiting the recovery of looted funds running into billions of dollars only to the Abachas has led to his gross incapacity to fix critical infrastructure like the completion of East-West road, Mambilla Power Plant, revamp the Coal industry, award direct contract for 2nd Niger Bridge and return the Polytechnics to the classroom.”