NIGERIA is due to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the authorities in the United Kingdom’s Jersey Island as well as with Washington to enable the country repatriate wealth stashed abroad by General Sani Abacha and former Delta State governor James Ibori.
Former military dictator General Abacha, is believed to have looted a sum total of $5bn from the Nigerian treasury and stashed it in numerous accounts worldwide. Earlier this week, the authorities on the island of jersey agreed to return a sum of $321m which General Abacha had stashed in their banks.
Chief James Ibori, the former Delta State governor, who was convicted in a London court in 2012 and sentenced to 13 years in jail is believed to have assets worth $66m in the UK. Also, former petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke has been asked to forfeit UK properties worth over £11m and Nigeria is hopeful of recovering this.
Yesterday, the attorney-general of the federation Abubakar Malami, said the funds recovered would be used to finance Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Abuja-Kano Expressway and the Second Niger Bridge. He has been asked to sign an MoU to cover assets or funds recovered from James Ibori, Diezani Allison-Madueke and Kola Aluko among others.
Mr 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. We have overtime been discussing with other jurisdictions including Island of Jersey and the United States among for the purpose of the repatriation of looted assets connected to Abacha family, Diezani Alison-Madueke, Kolawole Aluko among others.
“As it is, we have concluded on the understanding that the sum of $321m 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.”
“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 America will make the necessary arrangement for the eventual repatriation to the Nigerian state.”
He added that as it relates to Chief Ibori, the expected amount is €6.86m but the repatriation of sum is being negotiated and processed. On the sharing agreement, the minister said the US and Jersey are simply entitled to administrative costs associated with the management of funds, so, $10m was indeed what was earmarked to the two countries and the balance of $321 million is coming to Nigeria.