Questions over millions returned to Nigeria

The NPA dismissed any suggestion Abrahams played a role in the return of nearly $10m to the Nigerian govt.

FILE: The NPA has declined to confirm or deny meetings with the Nigerian government simply stating that Shaun Abrahams played no part in the matter. Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has dismissed as mischievous any suggestion that prosecutions boss Shaun Abrahams played any role in the return of nearly $10 million to the Nigerian government.

The cash was seized at Lanseria Airport in September last year from an Israeli arms dealer who allegedly did not declare the money, nor did he have the correct documentation for the purchase of weapons.

A deal was initially struck, which would've seen the Nigerian government forfeit about half of the money as a penalty, but this has now been scrapped.

Eyewitness News understands that senior members of the Nigerian High Commission met with Abrahams to discuss the release of the cash.

But the NPA has declined to confirm or deny such meetings, simply stating that Abrahams played no part in the matter.

It is alleged that Abrahams established close ties with the Nigerian government during the prosecution of Henry Okah, who was convicted of terrorism, and even travelled to that country to consult on the case.

Under former prosecutions boss Mxolisi Nxasana, Nigeria's advances were dismissed, and a plea deal was struck which would've seen the Nigerians forfeit $5 million as a penalty.

However, under Abrahams, and a newly appointed asset forfeiture unit head, the settlement agreement was re-evaluated and considered irregular and contrary to applicable legislation.