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TheCable at 7 Impact Stories Series (5): The $321m Abacha loot exposé that shook Aso Rock

TheCable at 7 Impact Stories Series (5): The $321m Abacha loot exposé that shook Aso Rock
April 28
13:10 2021

Seven, they say, is the number of perfection. At TheCable, our seventh anniversary offers a unique opportunity to celebrate our strive towards perfection and excellence in the media space.

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For these seven years since April 29, 2014, we’ve published under-reported and impact-driven stories, broken excellent stories, explored innovative ideas and covered new grounds that were scarcely highlighted in the industry.

Like the favourite hymnal, this is our story, this our song. We will be highlighting seven of our special stories that have made a huge impact, driven change and sparked public discourse in Nigeria

THE EXCLUSIVE STORIES THAT EXPOSED “SYSTEMATIC RELOOTING” OF A LOOT

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Like manna from heaven, the loot kept pouring in from the havens where they were concealed for almost two decades. Some say whenever Nigeria is broke and in dire need of respite, the ancestors rally round to beg one of the own — Sani Abacha, former military ruler — to kindly bail out the nation from his pilfered eathly treasures. Then the legend, in his benevolence, begins to dig with his mystical eyes into which of the accounts, Jersey or Luxembourg or the unknown ones, the palliatives should be taken from. Some mischievous ones even describe the recovered funds as showers of blessings for the boys.

Over time, the overwhelming concerns have always been on alleged re-looting of the loots. Civil society groups have lamented over the years that the huge funds recovered so far have not translated to anything meaningful as every individual in the value chain of repatriation seems to be interested in taking a deep bite from the loaf.

In 2017, there was public outrage over a questionable payment by Abubakar Malami, Nigeria’s attorney-general, to some lawyers as reported by TheCable. As part of its civic responsibility to the masses, TheCable began to dig into intrigues, theatrics and trajectories of the much-awaited repatriation of $321 million stolen by the dictator. It was becoming crystal clear that itchy fingers, long and adequately lubricated ones, were out to pinch a mouthful from the money.

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The Cable Foundation fired freedom of information (FoI) requests to seek details of the repatriation process. The foundation sued Malami for non-compliance, petitioned the Swiss government, published series of exclusive stories until the house of representatives demanded a probe of the dubious payments.

READ THE EXCLUSIVE STORIES HERE,  HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE AND HERE.

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