Shocker!! Meet Abacha’s Former Henchman Who allegedly Looted Nigeria’s Commonwealth- Now Buhari’s Minister


Interestingly, one of Abacha’s former henchman and a member of the military dictator’s kitchen cabinet while he ruled also made it to the list.
His name? Brig. General Bashir S. Magashi. Now Nigeria’s Minister of defence.
The Revelation…

According to an exclusive report by Nigeria’s foremost online news platform, Premium Times, Brig. General Bashir Magashi as a top army officer holding a command position, the man abused the public trust placed in him and was caught with his hands right in the cookie jar.
Upon realising that he had been boxed into a tight corner and with clear evidence of guilt laid bare before him, the officer sang like a canary as he confessed his thievery of public fund.

According to the report, sullen and distraught, he begged authorities, offering to forfeit more than two-thirds of his loot hidden in a secret bank account offshore, those familiar with the matter told PREMIUM TIMES.

Mr Magashi, 74 was the military governor of Sokoto State (1990–1992) and was appointed the commander of the strategic Brigade of Guards in September 1993 ahead of Sani Abacha’s coup in November of that year
He is a lawyer and a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria and holds a national award of CFR.

During the intrigues leading to General Sani Abacha’s assumption of power in November 1993, Brig. General Bashir S Magashi was given command of the Brigade of Guards in September. He was a member of the Abacha Military Caucus that reviewed the military and the political situation resulting from the annulment of the 12 June 1993.

As one of Abacha’s prominent inner caucus, he was one of those who reportedly got the favour of getting a huge chunk of the nation’s wealth with arbitrary access to the nation’s coffers.

At times, they were illegally allocated crude oil which they sold for hefty amounts of money. Mr Magashi benefited generously from that arrangement.

Shortly after democracy was restored in May 1999, the government announced the compulsory retirement of all armed forces officers who had served for six or more months in military governments, including Major-General Bashir Magashi.

According to Premium Times, upon assumption of power, Obasanjo rolled out an impressive anti-corruption drive and one of those fingered in having stashed stolen wealth outside of the country was this same Bashir Magashir.

This was exposed by a Swiss lawyer, Enrico Monfrini hired by the government to help track down and repatriate stolen funds.

According to the report, one of the accounts traced to the retired Brig. Gen was an account that had  $550,000 (about N200million -at N362 to a dollar).

On October 26, 2006, the NSA, via memo NSA/A/225/I/C, updated Mr Obasanjo on the cases of Mr Magashi and four others. “The account (held for Mr Magashi) has a total deposit of $550,000 and it remained intact until it was frozen in 2001,” Mr Mukhtar wrote in his memo.

Interestingly, the then NSA said when confronted, Mr Magashi admitted wrongdoing, saying the money was a proceed of illegal crude oil allocation Mr Abacha made to members of the Provisional Ruling Council (PRC) under his government. The officer was not a registered oil trader at the time. And being a public servant, it was illegal for him to directly engage in private businesses.

President Obasanjo then directed that the entire sum be recovered from the retired general, the then NSA said.

However, “General Magashi pleaded for a concession and Mr President left for him $150,000 from the said sum and to remit $400,000 to FGN which he has complied with as evidenced at Annex A, hereby attached,” Mr Mukhtar said.

Mr Magashi was granted that concession, and no charges were brought against him.
It remains unclear why that approach was adopted in handling the matter. Both Messrs Mukhtar and Obasanjo could not be reached to comment for this story. Their known mobile telephone lines were reported switched off for most of Tuesday and Wednesday morning.
Interestingly, the same corrupt officer is now a member of President Buhari’s cabinet.

Source: Premium Times


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