The Federal Government of Nigeria has confirmed the receipt of $311m looted by the late military dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha. The loot was repatriated from the United States and the Bailiwick of Jersey.
The Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, said approximately $311,797,866.11 of the Abacha loot was repatriated from the US and Jersey.
According to Malami, the amount increased significantly from over $308m as stated in a press release in February to over $311m because of the interest that accrued from February 3, 2020, to 28th April, 2020, when the fund was transferred to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The AGF noted that the litigation process for the return of these assets titled “Abacha III” commenced in 2014, while the diplomatic process culminated in the signing of the Asset Return Agreement on February 3, 2020, by the governments of Nigeria, the US and Jersey commenced in 2018.
“This agreement is based on international law and cooperation measures that set out the procedures for the repatriation, transfer, disposition and management of the assets,” he said.
It may be recalled that the recovered funds were laundered through the US banking system and then held in bank accounts in the Bailiwick of Jersey. In 2014, a US Federal Court in Washington D.C. forfeited the money as property involved in the illicit laundering of the proceeds of corruption arising in Nigeria during the period from 1993 to 1998 when General Abacha was Head of State.