Supreme Court Declines Family’s Request To Access Abacha’s Frozen Foreign Accounts

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The Supreme Court has again refused the request by Ali Abacha, a brother to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, to unfreeze the accounts traced to him and relatives of the late Abacha in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Jersey, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.

In a unanimous judgment delivered on Friday by a five-man panel of the court, the apex court held that Ali Abacha’s case was statute-barred as at when it was commenced in April 2004 at the Federal High Court in Kaduna.

In the lead judgment prepared by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, but read by Justice Ejembi Eko, the court held that having dismissed a similar appeal in an earlier judgment delivered in February 2020, it has no reason to depart from its reasoning in the case brought by Mister Abba Mohammed Sani on behalf of the Abacha family.

The appeal was against the July 19, 2010 unanimous judgment of the Court of Appeal, Kaduna division, in which a three-man panel set aside the September 24, 2004 judgment by Justice Mohammed Liman of Federal High Court, Kaduna, earlier given in favour of Ali Abacha.

Ali Abacha had filed several suits at the Federal High Court, Kaduna in 2004, challenging among others, the 1999 decision by the Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, acting through the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Kanu Agabi (SAN), to request the freezing of all accounts traced to the late Abacha, his family members and relatives in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Jersey, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.

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