The World Bank has told the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that it “cannot locate any additional information on the projects executed with recovered stolen public funds by the late General Sani Abacha.”
The World Bank Access to Information Appeal Committee stated this in a response to SERAP’s request for details on how Abacha loot was spent.
The World Bank said, “In response to your request under case number AI4288 (related to your initial request case number AI3982), we wish to inform you that we have thoroughly searched our records and databases but have not been able to locate any additional information that is responsive to your request beyond what we have already shared with you. Therefore, we are unable to fulfil your request.”
It would be recalled that the World Bank last year asked for more time to release details on the spending of recovered loot by Abacha.
This followed the bank’s decision to refer “portion of appeal by SERAP to the Bank Archives Unit for processing for public access. The Bank’s request for more time followed the appeal SERAP lodged with the Bank on 5 February 2016 on the ground that the Bank’s decision on its initial request did not reveal “important portions of the information requested on how Abacha loot was spent.”
But dissatisfied with the failure of the Bank to locate additional information, SERAP has now sent an open letter to the Bank’s president Dr Jim Yong Kim requesting him to use his “good offices and leadership position to urgently address the public perception that the World Bank is seeking to distance itself from responsibility over alleged mismanagement in the spending of recovered Abacha loot.”
Specifically, the organization asked Dr Kim to “establish a Special Inspection Panel on Nigeria to visit locations across the country to verify whether or not the projects reportedly executed by the Nigerian government with the funds were actually executed.”