SERAP asks W’Bank to release details on recovered Abacha loot

The president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim

The president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim

PRESIDENT, World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, has been asked to “exercise the bank’s prerogative to release documents relating to spending of recovered assets allegedly stolen by the late General Sani Abacha.”

Lagos based rights group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) made the request yesterday through a letter sent to Jim Yong Kim.

In the request dated September 21, 2015 signed by SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the group asked Mr. Yong Kim to “disclose information about the bank’s role in the implementation of any projects funded with the recovered assets and any other on-going repatriation initiatives to Nigeria in which the bank is engaged.”

According to the group, should the bank fail or refuse to release the documents as requested, it would file an appeal to the Secretariat of the Bank’s Access to Information Committee to challenge any such decision, and if it becomes necessary, to the Access to Information Appeals Board.

The request reads in part: “This application is brought pursuant to the World Bank’s Access to Information Policy (The Policy), approved by the Board on June 30 2015. SERAP notes that one of the policy’s guiding principles is to maximize access to information.

“There is also clear public interest in Nigerians knowing about the bank’s supervisory role and specifically its involvement in the implementation of projects on which repatriated funds were spent.

“SERAP believes that releasing the documents would enable civil society to meaningfully engage in the management and supervision of repatriated funds, contribute to the greater public good, and enhance transparency and accountability in the management of the country’s resources.

“The information is also being sought to improve the ongoing fight against corruption in the country and the provision of essential public services.”

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