The World Bank has asked for time to provide a detailed response to a request by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) for information on the spending of recovered assets from Late General Sani Abacha.
According to a letter dated 15 October 2015 and signed by Ann May of the Access to Information Team, the Bank said that “in response to your request under AI3982, we would like to inform you that we are still considering your request and need additional time to provide you with a more comprehensive response.”
“In most cases, we will be able to respond within twenty (20) working days from receipt of a request for information. However, we may need additional time in special circumstances, for example, if the request is complex or voluminous or if it requires further review by or consultation with internal World Bank units, external parties, the Access to Information Committee, or the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors.”
“We regret any inconvenience that a delay may cause you and, if one does occur, will aim to minimize it as much as possible. We will notify you promptly of any updates to the status of your request,” the bank stated.
In his response, SERAP’s Executive Director Adetokunbo Mumuni welcomed the decision to thoroughly consider the request.
“This thorough process shows the seriousness the Bank attaches to the request, and will hopefully contribute to a positive outcome that will serve the interest of justice and millions of Nigerians who want to know about disbursement of Abacha loot,” Mumuni said.
On September 21, 2015 SERAP had sent an access to information request to Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group urging him to “exercise the Bank’s prerogative to release documents relating to spending of recovered assets stolen by Late General Sani Abacha”.
The group also asked Mr Yong Kim to “disclose information about the Bank’s role in the implementation of any projects funded by the recovered assets and any other on-going repatriation initiatives on Nigeria with which the Bank is engaged.”