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Abacha loot: World Bank wants more time on SERAP’s request


Lagos – The World Bank Access to Information Committee has asked for more time to decide on a request by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Lagos, on how the recovered Abacha loot was spent.

Mr Olukayode Majekodunmi, the Deputy Director of SERAP, said in a statement on Thursday that the World bank had requested for additional time to respond to SERAP’S request.

The statement said SERAP received a letter dated April 27 form the World Bank requesting for additional time on the issue.

The letter read in part:“In response to your appeal under Case Number AI3982-A, this is to inform you that your appeal remains under consideration by the Access to Information Committee in accordance with the World Bank’s Access to Information Policy.

“The Access to Information Committee makes its best efforts to reach a decision on appeals within 45 working days of receiving an appeal.

“In this case, the Access to Information Committee needs additional time to reach a decision. We appreciate your patience.’’

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SERAP had in an appeal dated Feb. 5 objected to the decision not to reveal important portions of how the Abacha loot was spent.

SERAP said the decision was “a serious violation of the Access to Information Policy as it amounts to improper or unreasonable restriction of access to information.”

The group requested the disclosure of specific information and evidence on:“List of the 23 projects allegedly completed with the loot.

“Location of the 8 health centers built with the recovered Abacha loot reviewed by the World Bank.

“How the $50m Abacha loot received before 2005 kept in the special account was spent.

“Location of schools which benefited from the N24.25 billion Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme.

“Location of the 13 road projects completed with the recovered loot, including the names of the three largest roads and bridge in each of the six geo-political zones.” (NAN)

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