The United States of America has entered into agreement with Nigeria to return stolen asset of $23 million cash stolen by former military ruler of Nigeria, Sani Abacha.
“The United States, through the Department of Justice and FBI, forfeited approximately $23 million traceable to the corruption and money laundering of former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha and his co-conspirators. This money will be returned to the Nigerian people through an agreement between the Governments of the United States and the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Nigeria) signed today in Abuja, Nigeria, by U.S. Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard. This repatriation will bring the total amount forfeited and returned by the Department of Justice in this case to approximately $334.7 million. “
“The forfeited assets represent corrupt monies laundered during and after the military regime of General Abacha, who became Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through a military coup on Nov. 17, 1993, and held that position until his death on June 8, 1998. The complaint alleges that General Abacha, his son Mohammed Sani Abacha, their associate Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and others embezzled, misappropriated and extorted billions from the government of Nigeria and others, then laundered their criminal proceeds through U.S. financial institutions and transactions in the United States. The United Kingdom’s cooperation in the investigation, restraint and enforcement of the U.S. judgement, along with the valuable contributions of Nigeria and other law enforcement partners around the world, including the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency, as well as those of the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs, have been instrumental to the recovery of these funds.”
According to Reuters, “U.S. Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard said the cash was in UK accounts but was identified and frozen by U.S. officials. She added that including the latest deal, the United States had agreed to repatriate more than $334.7 million linked to Abacha.
Attorney General Abubakar Malami said the funds would be used for infrastructure projects, including the Abuja-Kano road, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the second Niger bridge under the supervision of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).”