FG to repatriate additional $321m of Abacha loot

Nigeria and the Island of Jersey will soon sign an agreement with the United States Government for the repatriation of $321 million looted by former Head of State, late General Sani Abacha.
NAN reports that the Island of Jersey is self-governing and has its own financial and legal systems and its own courts of law.
The States Assembly is made up of 49 elected members.
Jersey is a British Crown Dependency, and is defended and internationally represented by the UK Government.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, made the disclosure when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council.
The meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.
According to Malami, the funds, which will be repatriated from the Island of Jersey within three months, will be deployed for the construction works on Lagos to Ibadan highway in the South West, Abuja to Kano in the North and a Second Niger bridge across the Niger River in the eastern part of the country.
He said: “Council approved the asset sharing tripartite agreement between Nigeria, Island of Jersey and the United States of America for the purpose of repatriation of looted assets.
“We have over time been discussing with other jurisdictions, including Island of Jersey and the United States, for the purpose of the repatriation of looted assets connected to Abacha family, Diezani Alison-Madueke, Kolawole Aluko, among others.
“It is within this contest that we have now come to terms with this jurisdiction – Island of Jersey, United States of America and indeed Nigeria by way of negotiating for the repatriation of sizeable assets.
“As it is, we have concluded on the understanding that the sum of $321 million will be repatriated in due course, inclusive of James Ibori assets as well.
“So, we are hopeful that by next week we will sign the agreement for the looted assets. The assets that are going to be repatriated is located and in the custody of Island of Jersey.
“But the United States of America 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.
“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 is America will make the necessary arrangements for the eventual repatriation to the Nigerian state.”
Malami recalled that during Buhari administration’s first term, the administration had succeeded in enhancing the recovery of looted assets by over 1,300 per cent.
According to the minister, the Nigerian Government also expects at least €6 million from convicted ex-Governor Ibori as well as proceeds of planned auction of a yatch seized from Aluko, a businessman.
Malami said: “It is in line with that spirit of aggressive recovery of looted assets that the office of attorney general has been pursuing the recovery of looted assets.”