General

Nigeria moves to repatriate $321m Abacha loot

Nigeria has moved to repatriate about US$321 million loot traced to the family of the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, from the Island of Jersey.

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said that approval was given at Wednesday’s meeting of the Federal Executive Council for Nigeria, the Island of Jersey and the United States of America to sign a memorandum of understanding to repatriate the fund.

Presentation of memo

Malami said his office presented a memo to the cabinet meeting, seeking for approval of asset sharing in the tripartite agreement between Nigeria, Island of Jersey and the USA.

President Muhammadu Buhari presided over the meeting.

According to the Attorney General, President Buhari had, from 2015 to 2019, succeeded in enhancing the recovery of looted assets by over 1300%, and it was in line with this that the ministry has pursued the recovery of looted assets.

We have over time been discussing the repatriation of looted assets with other jurisdictions, inclusive of the Island of Jersey, USA, among others, for the purpose of repatriation of looted assets connected with Abacha’s family, connected with Deziani Allison Madueke and Kola Aluko, among others.

It is within this context that we have now come to terms with these jurisdictions, Island of Jersey, United States of America and indeed Nigeria, by way of negotiating for the repatriation of a sizeable asset.

As it is, we have concluded on an understanding that the sum of US$321 million will be repatriated in due course, inclusive of James Ibori asset as well, which was inadvertently not mentioned, Malami explained.

He stated that; The money expected to be repatriated is attached to Abacha and it is named Abacha Loot.

As it relates to James Ibori, the expected amount is Euros 6,863,977.12 million, but the repatriation of same is being negotiated and processed.

In respect of Diezani and Kola Aluko, what is on ground is MY Galactica Star Yatch and it’s being sold for the realisation proceed and the amount is yet to be finally agreed upon.

Speaking further, Malami explained the involvement of the parties in the agreement and how the money would be repatriated to Nigeria.

The asset that is going to be repatriated is located and in the custody of the Island of Jersey. But the USA came on board because it has obtained an order for forfeiture against the asset, considering that the medium of exchange used in looting of the asset was the United States dollar.

And arising from that the three jurisdictions must naturally be factored in the repatriation processSo the amount will, upon signing of the MOU, will be remitted from the Island of Jersey within a number of days agreed upon, within 28 days, the money will be repatriated from the Island of Jersey to USA.

Thereafter, within 45 days, it is agreed by the parties that USA will make necessary arrangements for the eventual repatriation of the funds to the Nigerian state, the Attorney General stressed.

Malami said that government had given its commitment that the fund, when repatriated, would be spent on the ongoing construction of the Lagos Ibadan Expressway, the Abuja Kano Road and the 2nd Niger Bridge.

He added that the agreement would hopefully be signed next week by the parties

Source: Voice of Nigeria