buhari signed uaeFormer ministers, serving and retired military generals and other top politicians who may have engaged in shady deals are panicking following Tuesday’s Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between President Muhammadu Buhari and the United Arab Emirate.
In the MoU the UAE agreed to cooperate with the Federal Government of Nigeria by repatriating all looted funds as well as assisting the extradition of indicted officials.
The new agreement, known as The Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal and Commercial Matters, ensures that the UAE government returns stolen funds from Nigeria and hidden or invested in banks and real estates in the country by Nigerians.
The agreement is coming after it has been observed that many Nigerians who have been investigated in the past for siphoning the country’s resources have been traced to the country.
Besides, dependable government sources said that intelligence reports have shown that many Nigerians have chosen to invest looted funds in Dubai and other parts of the Middle East.
Accordingly, President Buhari in a move that shocked those suspected to have dubiously acquired enormous resources and invested them in banks, real estate, steel and others lucrative businesses, sealed the agreement just as he had done with the governments of the United States of America and the United Kingdom.
It would be recalled that former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori had in 2010 when he was investigated for alleged massive fraud sought refuge in UAE before he was eventually extradited to the UK, where he was sentenced to 13 years in prison by the Southwark Crown Court in London.
Others who are believed to have used UAE as safe haven after stealing public funds are: the former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, who is wanted for allegedly stealing N2.8 billion and former Comptroller of the Nigerian Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko, who is also being investigated for several sharp practices involving large sums of money while in office.
Apart from the Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal and Commercial Matters, Buhari and his delegation also signed a series of other bilateral agreements at the World Energy Forum.
Other agreements signed with the government of that country included: Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement, Agreement on Trade Promotion and Protection, Judicial Agreements on Extradition, Transfer of Sentenced Persons.
The Judicial Agreement on Extradition, Transfer of Sentenced Persons and Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal and Commercial Matters will enable Nigeria to deal decisively with fraudulent public office-holders, both current and past who have either stored their loot or are planning to do so in UAE.
Impeccable sources have confirm that affected people are now under severe pressure, running helter-skelter to ensure they move their stashed loots away from the country before enforcement begins in full swing.
Reports show that not less than $200 billion allegedly syphoned from the country’s treasury by former government officials is believed to be hidden in UAE.
With the signing of the agreements the government can now actively demand the repatriation of funds hidden in the country by convicted former officials as well as demand the extradition of other Nigerian fugitives residing in the country.
Meanwhile, former Governor of Niger State, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has cried out that he does not own several properties in the United Arab Emirates, UAE.
In a statement on Friday by his spokesman Israel Ebije, Aliyu said he doesn’t have “even a mattress outside Nigeria”.
“They should do their investigation and if I am found guilty of owning any property in UAE, the Federal Government, FG should appropriate (it). I am totally committed to the President Muhammadu Buhari decisive effort towards repatriating stolen funds and his plan towards making political offices less palatable and incidence of impunity as low as possible.
“I am however concerned over baseless accusations peddled against my person,” he said just as Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti also debunked claims that he owns properties in Dubai.


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