In order to retrieve ill-gotten gains reportedly linked to Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, the federal government hired a US business in 2021. (PDP).
Additionally, the company was hired to obtain these cash from the accounts of former senator Musiliu Obanikoro and governor of the state of Ekiti Ayodele Fayose.
Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), appointed Akib Abiola as the principal recovery agent to recover the funds on behalf of the federal government in a memo with the heading HAGF/AABIOLA/USA/2021/VOL.1/1 and a date of May 31, 2021.
Malami stated in the letter of engagement that forfeiture actions are currently being conducted on the stolen property.
Please be advised that the federal government of Nigeria has engaged you to recover the funds traced to the accounts located in the United States of America and belonging to the individuals listed in paragraph 2 of this engagement letter (hereinafter illicit funds).
This is in response to the proposal submitted by Mr. Akib Abiola (hereinafter “Lead Recovery Agent”) via letter dated 9 March and 6 May 2021, respectively.
The engagement’s goal is to reclaim any illegal monies linked to Atiku Abubakar, Ayo Fayose, and Musiliu Obanikoro in the United States of America.
The task of “instituting an action severally or jointly against Atiku Abubakar, his family, and associates towards collecting the stolen assets owed to the FGN from the proceeds of crime currently under a forfeiture proceeding at the United States” was assigned to Abiola.
Ayo Fayose, the former governor of Ekiti State, and Musiliu Obanikoro, the former minister of state for defense and former high commissioner to Ghana, are just two examples of those who must “identify and provide information to the undersigned (Malami) about any assets subject or likely to be subject to forfeiture proceedings in the United States of America.”
In order to collect the cash, the lead recovery agent was also required to make agreements, sign letters and contracts, and cooperate with the AGF.
According to the AGF, “where lead recovery agent and its partner solicitors 1dentifies any other assets (financial or otherwise) which may be pursued as a recovery prospect, it shall bring such information to the undersigned (Malami) for express approval before proceeding with any legal processes toward the recovery and repatriation of such asset.”
LEGITIMATE FEES OF 5%
The main recovery agent is eligible to receive a “success fee” equal to 5% of “actual recoveries made and remitted to the specified accounts” of the federal government, per the AGF.
The letter states that the fee must be paid in relation to cash recovery within sixty (60) days of the federal government of Nigeria’s collective receipt of the money.
The aforementioned success fee is supposed to cover all costs incurred by the lead recovery agent and any agents or associates hired by your company during the course of its engagement.
The Nigerian federal government would not enter into separate conditions of engagement with such agents, partners, lawyers, or subcontractors, to be clear.