Nigeria, US sign agreement on return of $300m ‘looted by Abacha, Alamieyeseigha’

The federal government has signed an agreement with the United States on the return of over $300 million allegedly looted by Sani Abacha, former head of state and Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, ex-governor of Bayelsa state.

Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, made the disclosure when he spoke at Chatham House, London, in the United Kingdom on Thursday.

In his speech, titled ‘Nigeria’s anti-corruption effort: Working with the media, civil society and international partners’, Malami said the US government took custody of the funds after a court in America ruled that the $300 million loot be forfeited.

He added that of the $300 million, the sums of $1.6 million and £21.7 million were in the UK, while $145 million was kept in France and $299 million in Jersey.

The disclosure comes after the AGF had signed a tripartite agreement with representatives of the Swiss government and World Bank for the return of $321million looted by Abacha and his family.

This was in line with Switzerland’s policy of returning illegally acquired assets, as set out in the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed by the three parties at the Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) held in the US.