The United States government has returned another $20 million to Nigeria as part of the loot traced to Sani Abacha, former Nigerian military leader and his co-conspirators. In August, the US government signed an agreement with the federal government to repatriate $23 million tagged ‘Abacha-5’. In a statement on Thursday, the US government said, “this repatriation brings the total amount forfeited and returned by the United States in this case to approximately $332.4 million.”
“In 2014, a judgment was entered in the District of Columbia ordering the forfeiture of approximately $500 million located in accounts around the world, as the result of a civil forfeiture complaint for more than $625 million traceable to money laundering involving the proceeds of general Abacha’s corruption,” the US government said. “In 2020, the department repatriated over $311.7 million of the forfeited assets that had been located in the Bailiwick of Jersey. Last year, the U.K. government enforced the U.S. judgment against the additional over $20.6 million.
“Under the agreement signed in August, the United States agreed to transfer 100% of the net forfeited assets to Nigeria to support three critical infrastructure projects in Nigeria that were previously authorised by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian legislature. “The $20,637,622.27 marks a slight reduction from the $23 million announced in August due primarily to exchange rate fluctuations between British pounds sterling and U.S. dollars.
“The funds governed by this agreement will help finance the second Niger bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, and the Abuja-Kano road – investments that will benefit the citizens of each of these important regions in Nigeria.”
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