DIARY OF ABACHA’S LOOT. Credit: USA-AFRICA DIALOGUE.
Between November 17, 1993 and June 8, 1998 , during which the late dictator, General Sani Abacha, held Nigeria in his vicious grip, he treated the treasury like a hapless cow being milked to death.
Abacha was not contented with raping the country through kickbacks from inflated contracts. He dipped his hands into the vaults of Central Bank where the strong currencies of the United States of America and British held out great attraction for him.
On March 25, 1994 alone, Abacha stole $37.6 million from the CBN.
Ismaila Gwarzo, his NSA, was his main pointsman in looting Central Bank
Gwarzo told a Special Investigation Panel, SIP, set up by the OBJ regime that he sent his special assistant to the bank between June 1996 and October 1997 to collect a total sum of $456 million and £232 million for Abacha.
The breakdown of the money stolen on each trip made to the CBN on his behalf as shown below would suggest that corruption, more than blood, ran through his veins:
02/15/95 – $4m & £2m
02/17/95 – $4m & £2m
02/27/95 – $4m & £2m
07/08/95 – $5m, £2m & another £2m in traveller’s cheques
12/29/95 – $5m
03/28/96 – Abacha requested $5m & £3m.
The CBN ran out of foreign currencies. It paid him $3.801 million. He was angry but collected the money grudgingly
05/29/96 – $5 million & £5 million. The bank ran out of pound sterling and sent $12.5m to Abacha.
June 20, 1996 – $10 million and £5 million
August 20, 1996 – $30 million and £15 million
September 24, 1996 – $50 million
September 30, 1996 – $50 million and £3 million
October 14, 1996 – $5 million
November 11, 1996 – $5 million and £3 million
February 18, 1997 – $6 million
February 28, 1997 – $3 million
March 3, 1997 – $3.27 million
March 6, 1997 – $1.21 million
April 22, 1997 – $60 million
April 28, 1997 – $60 million and £30 million
June 30, 1997 – $4.9 million
July 9, 1997 – $5 million and £2 million
August 8, 1997 – $10 million
October 18, 1997 – $12.3 million
October 21, 1997 – £5.88 million
October 23, 1997 – £14.76 million
October 29, 1997 – £11.76 million
November 14, 1997 – $10 million
DIARY OF ABACHA’S LOOT
November 26, 1997 – $24 million
December 10, 1997 – $24 million
December 18, 1997 – £6.15 million
After the death of Abacha, investigators in Nigeria , Europe and America stumbled on over 130 bank accounts at home and abroad where some of the money stolen was kept.
The banks are:
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, ANZ, London branch
ANZ, New York
Bank in Liechtenstein A. G. Vaduz
Bank Len, Zurich
Bankers Trust Company, London
Bankers Trust Company, Frankfurt
Bankers Trust Company, New York
Banque Barring Brothers, Geneva
Barclays Bank, New York
Barclays Bank, London
Banque Edouard Constant, General
Banque Nationale De Paris, Geneva
Banque Nationale De Paris, London
Banque Nationale De Paris, Basle
Citibank N. A. London
Citibank N. A. New York
Citibank N. A. Luxembourg
Credit Lyonnais , New York Credit Suisse , New York
Credit Suisse, General
5 THINGS NIGERIA COULD HAVE DONE WITH ABACHA’S STOLEN BILLIONS
- 100 new Harvard-like universities
- 200 new Wembly-like stadia
- 10, 000 new textile factories
- 100, 000 new-well equipped hospitals
- 1, 000, 000 bore-holes with solar-powered pumps across communities
6 ALT. THINGS NIGERIA COULD HAVE DONE WITH ABACHA’S LOOT
- Mass housing scheme
- Free qualitative education for citizens
- High quality interstate railway line connecting every city in Nigeria
- 1, 000, 000 agro-processing plants
- 100 year 10K allowance for 10m people
ABACHA’S LOOT: 4 QUESTIONS
- How much more has been stolen in the post-Abacha years at Fed, st & LG levels?
- What has been done with the billions already recovered?
- How many people have been prosecuted for their role in the heist?
- How could 1 man have stolen so much?
BEYOND ABACHA: OTHER LOOTED/MISSING BILLIONS
- $12.4 billion accrual from sale of crude oil during the Gulf War
- Till date, ex-military president Ibrahim Babangida is yet to provide a full accounting of the funds
- According to a panel headed by Pius Okigbo ex-military ruler Babangida frittered away $12bn of the Gulf Windfall through special accounts he was sole signatory to
- With Abdulkadir Ahmed as Central Bank Governor, IBB laundered cash at will from the apex bank’s vault
- Between 1977 & 1978, $2.8 billion accrual to the NNPCgroup also grew wings & disappeared
- A senate committee headed by Olusola Saraki- Senate Leader- 1979-83- indicted then federal commissioner for petroleum- Muhammadu Buhari
- Till date, neither the $2.8 billion that disappeared from NNPCgroup in 1978 nor the $12.4 billion gulf windfall has been accounted for.
- According to the UNODC between $400bn- $600bn was stolen from Nigeria between 1960 & 1999
LOOTED/MISSING BILLIONS: 3 QUESTIONS
- If according to @UNODC b/w $400bn-$600bn was looted in the first 39 years of independence, how much has been looted in the past 20 years of civil rule?
- How could less than 1, 000 men steal over 60% of a country’s wealth?
- Why are there no efforts to prosecute the men behind the grand looting of the treasury?
Perhaps you can add:
How can the present “war against corruption” succeed when the looters of yesterday are today’s elder statesmen?
ABACHA LOOT: 4 LESSONS
- No man is good enough to be trusted with absolute powers
- There were lots of abuses during the military era
- Few challenged the grand heist that characterised military regimes in Nigeria
- Nigeria’s development woes are man-made
LIKE ABACHA, LIKE SEVERAL OTHER 3RD WORLD LEADERS
Here, we present a brief insight into some of history’s biggest treasury looters- the men who rather than use the wealth of their nations to build infrastructure & grow the economy elected instead to loot & siphon the treasury.
Yahya Jammeh: On the day he was forced to leave office as Gambia’s leader, it is estimated that Jammeh made away with between £8.8m & €10.3m in raw cash- emptying the entire treasury of the presidential palace.
Suharto: Suharto, the president of Indonesia from 1967 to 1998, is alleged to have cleaned out the country’s state funds to the tune of about $35bn.
Mobutu Sese Seko: The leader of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) from 1965 to 1997, Mobutu ran a murderous regime which brutally suppressed the opposition.
He is suspected of stealing about $5bn.
Ferdinand Marcos: Marcos of Philippines is suspected of stealing more than $10bn from the country.
His wife Imelda had over 3, 000 pairs of designer shoes at the period her husband ruled- 1965 & 1986
Ali Abdullah Saleh:
Former Yemeni leader- Ali Abdullah Saleh is suspected of corruptly amassing as much as $60bn during his time in office – roughly equivalent to Yemen’s annual GDP.
Slobodan Milosevic: the brutal dictator who ran Serbia between 1989 to 1997, was arrested on charges of plundering funds from the Serbian state. The total is not known, but he is suspected of stealing $1-$4bn.
Hosni Mubarak: Toppled by the 2011 uprising, Hosni Mubarak went on trial accused of embezzling funds meant for the renovation of presidential palaces to do up his personal properties. Total look is estimated in billions of USA.