Former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Ishaya Bamaiyi has insisted that his then principal, General Sani Abacha, did not loot Nigeria’s treasury.
Bamaiyi said the stories of Abacha’s loot was a creation of the Nigerian media.
He stated this while speaking at the launching of a tell-all memoir, which covers his military career, in Abuja on Thursday.
Bamaiyi explained that Abacha only kept the monies in places, where they could be easily accessed.
“I am not defending Abacha, I am not saying things did not go wrong,” Ishaya Bamaiyi noted, adding that “What I know is that we sat down and agreed that the monies should be kept in a place so that we can have access to them. I don’t know if something else happened after that period.”
Bamaiyi’s account of Abacha’s handling of Nigeria’s treasury during his regime, which lasted between November 17, 1993, and June 8, 1998, contradicts an estimate that shows Abacha channeled up to $2.2 billion from Central Bank of Nigeria into private accounts.
On March 8, 2016, Nigeria and Switzerland entered into an agreement, which will see the European nation return $321million stolen by the former military head of state.