By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, on Tuesday denied media reports that she refused to approve the payment of $16.9 million fees to two lawyers for the recovery of Abacha loot worth $321 million.
It was earlier reported that the Minister blocked payment of the $16.9 million to two lawyers of the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, who helped in negotiations for the repatriation of the looted funds by the former Head of State.
In a statement signed this afternoon by Special Adviser on Media & Communications to Minister of Finance, Mr Oluyinka Akintunde, Mrs Adeosun said there was no iota of truth in the media reports.
The Minister said she never sent a “strongly-worded letter to the President” objecting to the payment of $16.9 million fees to two lawyers for the recovery of Abacha funds.
She said, “For the avoidance of doubt, there is no controversy concerning the recovery of the Abacha monies from the Swiss government.”
Consequently, the Minister has dissociated herself and the Federal Ministry of Finance from the report she described as “malicious and misleading,” emphasising that there was no time she wrote any letter to the President or any member of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the payment of lawyers for the Abacha recovery.
In addition, “She also refuted the flawed media reports of controversy surrounding the Abacha recovery, disclosing that the sum of $322.5 million was received into a Special Account in the Central Bank of Nigeria on December 18, 2017 from the Swiss Government.”
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