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Abacha loot: Adeosun denies blocking payment of $16.9m to Malami’s lawyers

By: Temitope Ojo

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has denied objecting to the payment of $16.9 million fees to two lawyers for the recovery of money looted by late head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha funds.

Recent media reports had claimed that Mrs. Adeosun wrote a “strongly-worded letter” to President Muhammadu Buhari against the approval of the said amount to Oladipo Okpeseyi (SAN), and Temitope Adebayo.

The two lawyers were said to have been engaged by Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

A statement signed by Adeosun’s media adviser, Oluyinka Akintunde, on Tuesday, however, said dissociates her and the Federal Ministry of Finance from the reports.

“The minister had at no time written any letter to the President or any member of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the payment of lawyers for the Abacha recovery.

“She also refuted the flawed media reports of controversy surrounding the Abacha recovery, disclosing that the sum of US$322,515,931.83 was received into a Special Account in the Central Bank of Nigeria on December 18, 2017 from the Swiss Government.

“For the avoidance of doubt, there is no controversy concerning the recovery of the Abacha monies from the Swiss Government,” the statement said.

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