Nigeria: Supreme Court docket Quashes Sing to Unfreeze Abacha Accounts in UK, Others

The Supreme Court docket, has for the second time, refused the inquire of by Alhaji Ali Abacha, a brother to the leisurely Head of Say, Sani Abacha, to unfreeze accounts traced to him and kinfolk of the leisurely Abacha within the UK, Switzerland, Jersey, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.

In a unanimous judgment on Friday, a five-man panel of the court docket, led by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta held that Ali Abacha’s case turned into statute barred, as at when it commenced in April 2004, on the Federal High Court docket in Kaduna.

The judgment turned into within the enchantment marked: SC/359/2010, filed by Alhaji Ali Abacha, talked about to be a brother of the leisurely Gen Sani Abacha.

In the lead judgment prepared by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, however learn on Friday by Justice Ejembi Eko, the court docket held that, having brushed apart a the same enchantment in an earlier judgment given in February closing year, it had no cause to recede from its reasoning if that is the case introduced by Alhaji Abba Mohammed Sani on behalf of the Abacha family.

The court docket talked about it noticed that the appellant, in this enchantment, turned into represented by Reuben Atabo who, by the contrivance in which, turned into the appellant’s counsel within the earlier enchantment.

“No fresh superior arguments were proffered right here to warrant a departure from the decision within the case of Alhaji Sani, earlier determined. This enchantment fails, and it is hereby brushed apart.

The enchantment turned into in opposition to the July 19, 2010 unanimous judgment of the Court docket of Charm, Kaduna division, wherein a three-man panel plan apart the Sept. 24, 2004 judgment by Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court docket, Kaduna, earlier given in favour of Ali Abacha.

Ali Abacha had sued on the Federal High Court docket, Kaduna in 2004, no longer easy among others, the 1999 decision by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, performing thru the Attorney Regular of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Kanu Agabi (SAN), to inquire of the freezing of all accounts traced to the leisurely Abacha, his kinfolk and kinfolk within the UK, Switzerland, Jersey, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.

Abacha prayed the court docket to, among others, void the freezing of the accounts on the grounds that the AGF lacked the powers, below the Banking (Freezing of Accounts Act, Cap 29, Licensed pointers of Nigeria, on which he claimed to have acted, to inquire of the international countries to freeze his accounts and those of the corporations wherein he turned into a director.

Justice Liman, in his judgment of Sept. 24, 2004, upheld the claims by Ali Abacha and granted the whole reliefs sought, a decision that the AGF, listed because the sole defendant, appealed on the Court docket of Charm, Kaduna division.

In their judgment on July 19, 2010, within the enchantment marked: CA/Okay/71/2005, Justices John Inyang Okoro, Baba Alkali Ba’aba and Mohammed Lawal Garba of the Court docket of Charm, Kaduna, were unanimous in conserving that the swimsuit turned into statute barred.

They equally held that the AGF turned into no longer accorded excellent-looking out listening to by the Federal High Court docket, and proceeded to plan apart the judgment by Justice Liman, a decision on which Ali Abacha appealed to the Supreme Court docket, which the apex court docket determined on Friday.

A five-member panel of the Supreme Court docket had, in its Feb. 1, 2020 judgment within the earlier enchantment, marked: SC68/2010 by Abba Mohammed Sani, held among others, that it turned into turned into too leisurely for the Abacha family to impeach the decision taken by the Federal Executive of Nigeria in 1999, by capability of a letter authored by the then Minister of Justice and Attorney Regular of the Federation (AGF), Kanu Agabi (SAN).

Justice Chima Nweze, who authored the panel’s lead judgment held, among others, that in seek of the evidence presented by parties, he turned into left without a diversified choices than to uphold the earlier concurrent decisions of the 2 lower courts, the Federal High Court docket, Kano and the Court docket of Charm, Kaduna division, to the carry out that the swimsuit turned into statute barred.

Nweze talked about: “In all kinds, with the eloquent submission of the respondents’ counsel, and submissions anchored on the admitted evidence, I have not any hesitation in striking forward the concurrent decisions of the lower courts.

“Accordingly, I hereby enter an picture brushing off this enchantment. I additional say the concurrent findings and decisions of the lower courts, enchantment brushed apart”.

Court docket paperwork had confirmed that President, Olusegun Obasanjo, in December 1999, licensed the then AGF, Agabi, to inquire of the Swiss authorities to freeze all bank accounts held in its jurisdiction by the leisurely Head of Say, Regular Abacha, his childhood, servants, brokers and any diversified americans or corporations linked to them, between 1993 and 1998.

The Nigeria government turned into additionally talked about to have requested the Swiss authorities to have interaction and detain all banking and diversified paperwork pertaining to to the affected accounts, charge and prosecute all holders of such accounts, in picture to acquire properly and pay over to the Federal Executive of Nigeria all monies falsely and fraudulently taken from the federal government and other americans of Nigeria.

Moreover, the federal government turned into talked about to have engaged a international financial investigator, Enrico Monfrini of Hauchomann & Bottage in Geneva, Switzerland, to succor in convalescing “all looted monies by Gen Abacha and his kinfolk and diversified public servants and third parties who’ve passe their location or participated as accomplices to misappropriate public funds”.

Following these steps by the Federal Executive, the accounts of the Abachas, stumbled on in Switzerland, United Kingdom, Jersey, Liechenstein and Luxembourg were frozen, a building people of the leisurely Head of Say challenged by submitting a swimsuit, marked: FHC/KN/CS/6/2004, on Jan. 28, 2004 before the Federal High Court docket, Kano.


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