Faced with forfeiture actions against a host of his assets initiated by the Obasanjo government, in conjunction with the government of the United States, Abubakar Bagudu, who is the current Kebbi State Governor, entered into a settlement deal with the federal government in 2003.
Under the terms of that accord, which was approved by a British court, Bagudu returned $163 million of allegedly laundered money to the Nigerian authorities, which in exchange dropped all outstanding civil and criminal claims against him, stemming from his involvement in alleged corruption.
In the deal signed by then President Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria, in return, renounced any interest whatsoever in Bagudu’s trust assets, including those the United States is now attempting to recover for the country.
After the agreement, the federal government issued a formal statement, titled: “Presidential statement in respect of global settlement of disputes between Mallam Abubakar Bagudu and his affiliates and named affiliates and the federal republic of Nigeria.”
It states: “This statement is executed as a side letter to the Agreement (the Agreement) of today’s date between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its Government (FRN) and Abubakar Bagudu (AB) on behalf of himself and his affiliates and named affiliates as set out below (together AB).
“This letter is confidential except that it may be produced to third parties by AB as confirmation that the Agreement finally resolves and releases all claims and liabilities of any kind which exist or might exist against AB in favour of or at the of any organ of government of the FRN (the Resolved Matters).
“The Resolved Matters include (but are not limited to): all civil claims, all administrative claims, all claims arising out of, deriving from or associated with criminal proceedings, the claims made by the FRN in relation to security votes (London High Court, No HCO/CO/3260) (the Security Votes Proceedings), Ajaokuta (London High Court, 1999 Folio No 831), Ferrostaal, vaccines, the Imo River dredging contract and other government contracts.”
Sources close to Bagudu says he is not interested in pursuing a large part of the settlement deal, but just wants to be protected from prosecution by the EFCC.