Hamza Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer of late Sani Abacha, was on BBC Hausa recently, where he said that the former Military dictator and some Nigerian leaders took the decision to stash money in different foreign accounts so that Nigerians wouldn't suffer in future.
According to Al-Mustapha, during the Abacha regime, there were indications that Nigeria was to be sanctioned. He said a collective decision by Abacha, monarchs from the North and South as well as some leaders, was taken for monies to be kept abroad so that Nigerians will not suffer when the sanctions are eventually imposed.
He argued that his former boss does not have his identity or signature on any of the accounts where the monies were stashed abroad and wondered why people keep tying his boss to the recovered monies.
According to him, the person who helped ''raise the image of Nigeria'' is now the one that is being insulted by all and sundry.
In his words
“I’m saying this based on what I know and based on trust to Nigerians, their dignity and honour. I’ve said it that there was a period Nigeria was to be sanctioned. So there were plans to keep money overseas so that Nigeria and Nigerians would not suffer when the sanction was imposed on the country.
We gathered emirs and chiefs from the South and from the North together with VIPs of that time, those in government and those outside government. We met at a place called Camp Bassey Officers’ Mess in the Brigade of Guards. It was there we deliberated on the threat to sanction Nigeria. Many decisions were taken.
The meeting was also attended by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Planning, the CBN etc.
It is surprising. You should know when a person is opening an account, it is that very person that will go to the bank for biometric capture. ’The person’s photograph will be taken, he will avail the bank with the required information, the source of the money, all these are requirements that must be met.
What justification have they to say the accounts belonged to him? Have they ever seen where late Abacha appended his signature or thumb print that the money belonged to him?
I’m surprised by the way Abacha is being blackmailed. I am surprised because when he assumed leadership, Nigeria had less than $2 billion in the foreign reserve. Things were not organized.
But within four years and eight months, he did what was possible to raise it to over $9 billion. But after his death, all these billions vanished in nine months. The person that raised Nigeria’s image and enhanced security is now the subject of insult. But those who shared the money he left are still alive and untouchable.” he said
Over $3.624 billion Abacha loot have been discovered and repatriated by successive governments.