Supreme Court Denies Abacha Family Access To His International Accounts - SephoraNews- Nigeria Entertainment Blog SephoraNews- Nigeria Entertainment Blog: Supreme Court Denies Abacha Family Access To His International Accounts
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Saturday, 8 February 2020

Supreme Court Denies Abacha Family Access To His International Accounts

On Friday, legal attempts made by the family of the late head of state military, General Sani Abacha to gain access to the numerous accounts frozen on the basis of an order from the Nigerian government by its representatives to banks in UK, Switzerland, Jersey, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg have been declined by the Supreme Court.

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In its unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held expressly that the appeal of the late head of State members by the family was barred by statute.

A panel of five members from the Apex court held it rather late to question the decision made by the Government through a letter from the then Minister of Justice and the Federal Attorney General (AGF), Kanu Agabi (SAN).

In the appeal marked SC/68/2010, the Court's lead judgement was written by Justice Chima Nweze who stated that the evidence produced by the Abacha family is not convincing and he is left with no choice than to support the decision of the previous two courts. 

He was quoted saying;
“In all forms, with the eloquent submission of the respondents’ counsel, and submissions anchored on the admitted evidence, I have no hesitation in affirming the concurrent decisions of the lower courts.
Accordingly, I hereby enter an order dismissing this appeal. I further affirm the concurrent findings and decisions of the lower courts. Appeal dismissed.”
According to court documents, the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, in December 1999, authorised the then AGF, Agabi to request the Swiss authorities to freeze all bank accounts held in its jurisdiction by the late head of state, General Abacha, his children, servants, agents and any other individuals or companies liked to them between 1993 and 1998.
Nigeria government was also said to have requested the Swiss authorities to seize and detain all banking and other documents relating to the affected accounts, charge and prosecute all holders of such accounts, in order to recover and pay over to the Federal Government of Nigeria all monies falsely and fraudulently taken from the government and people of Nigeria.
Also, the FG was said to have engaged a foreign financial investigator, Enrico Monfrini of Hauchomann & Bottage in Geneva, Switzerland, to assist in recovering “all looted monies by Gen Abacha and his family members and other public servants and third parties who have used their position or participated as accomplices to misappropriate public funds.” Following these steps by the Federal Government, the accounts of the Abachas found in Switzerland, United Kingdom, Jersey, Liechenstein and Luxembourg were frozen, an action members of the late head of state challenged by filing a suit, marked: FHC/KN/CS/6/2004, on January 28, 2004 before the Federal High Court, Kano.

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