No exact figures for looted funds – Malami

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According to reports, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), says the Federal Government has no exact figure of Nigeria’s looted funds abroad.

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Malami, who made this known at a Media Roundtable on Open Government Partnership in Abuja on Friday, said Nigeria would continues to liaise with other countries on the repatriation of looted funds, but the exact figures might be difficult to ascertain.

The minister said this was because the nexus of complexity and dynamics of legislations, culture and policies of various countries regarding the repatriation of the funds.

He said: “It is impossible to give a clear figure against the background of complexity, differences of rules, approach and processes, at international communities.

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“Also, investigations which are ongoing and keep changing, and there are also cases in court with different jurisdiction and dynamics, so it is impossible to arrive at an exact amount”.

Malami, who is also the Minister of Justice, said that the federal government was not resting on its oars and would synergise with foreign to ensure the returned of the fund.

He also said government would enlist the foreign country’s support for the nation’s crusade against corruption.

The minister added that the Open Government Partnership, to which Nigeria became a signatory July 2016, would enhance the nation’s drive in this regard.

He said, “The Federal Government of Nigeria has set up an OGP National steering committee with the Federal Ministry of Justice as the coordinating ministry.

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“The government will also continue to pursue reform programmes on transparency and accountability in promoting asset disclosure, improved public procurement, promoting fiscal transparency and empowerment.

“We will work with the network of OGP implementing countries for technical support, especially in repatriating our stolen funds that are currently stashed away abroad.

“I invite the media to join hands with the government to communicate all of these reforms to Nigerians in a very simple language not just at the Federal and states levels but also in the local communities.”

He said he had approved the setting up of a functional project office the ministry to foster partnership and collaboration with stakeholders who might wants to know what the government was doing under the OGP initiative.

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The minister urged Nigerians to make use of the Freedom of Information Act, which enables Nigerians to freely access information from any agency of the government.

He said, “The OGP, which is a global initiative, is a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on improving government transparency, accountability and responsiveness to citizens through technology and innovation.”

Nigeria formally joined the initiative in July as the 70th member country.

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