A fresh $321m looted by a former Head of State, the late General Sani Abacha, will soon be repatriated to Nigeria. The revelation was made by the Federal Government on Wednesday. A tripartite agreement on the repatriation of the looted money will be signed next week between the Island of Jersey, the United States of America and Nigeria.
The originating source of the funds is the Island of Jersey, but the loot will pass through the US Government before finally reaching Nigeria, the final destination. The decision on the agreement was taken at Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja. It was presided over by the President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, who spoke with State House Correspondents after the meeting, explained that an MoU reached by the parties also itemised how the recovered loot would be spent. He disclosed that the key beneficiary projects were the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway; the 2nd Niger Bridge; and the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Expressway.
Malami added that a separate €6.8m in connection with a former governor of Delta State, Mr James Ibori, would also be repatriated, but said negotiations had yet to start on the Ibori loot. He also said discussions would soon start on looted assets linked to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Dezieni Alison-Madueke. The AGF explained that no figure had been placed on the Alison-Madueke assets, believed to include a multi-million dollar yatch.
On the Abacha loot, he said, “The immediate figure for repatriation, as it relates to the agreement to be signed next week, is $321m. The government (Nigeria) has indeed given commitment that the proceeds of the looted assets, after recovery, should be applied to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Abuja-Kano road and the 2nd Niger Bridge. The $321m expected to be repatriated is attached to Abacha and it is named Abacha loot.
“The US came on board because it has obtained an order for forfeiture against the assets, considering that the medium of exchange used in the looting the assets is the US dollar. Arising from that, the three jurisdictions will naturally be factored into the repatriation processes. So, the amount upon signing 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 the United States of America and thereafter within 45 days, it is agreed by the parties that the United States of America will make the necessary arrangement for the eventual repatriation to the Nigerian state,”
On Ibori, Malami said, “As it relates to James Ibori, the expected amount is €6,863,977.12m, but the repatriation of same is being negotiated and processed.”
The AFG also spoke further on Alison-Madueke and Kola Aluko. He said, “In respect of Diezani and Kola Aluko, what is on the ground is MY Galactica Star Yatch, and it is being sold for the realisation proceeds and the amount is yet to be finally agreed upon. We will disclose the amount when it is finally agreed upon.”