Nigeria to Receive $8.9million Looted to Acquire Property In the US in 2014

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By Kamsi Anayo

United States (US) authorities will return $8.9million looted by state officials to acquire property in 2014.

Royal Court in the US last Friday granted forfeiture of a “tainted property deposited into a Jersey bank account by Nigerian companies in 2014”, according to court documents.

“The Attorney General successfully demonstrated that the tainted property belonged to the Federal Republic of Nigeria,”

The court documents disclosed that the property was acquired with “stolen” funds from Nigeria by “high-ranking officials within certain departments of the Nigerian Government in 2014.”

The Nigerian government at the time was led by President Goodluck Jonathan who lost a reelection bid to immediate past President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.

The court document said the tainted property was transferred to Jersey as part of a corrupt operation scheme that used third-party contractors to “siphon off government funds for the personal benefit of Nigerian officials and their associates.”

The funds in question, according to court documents, “were disguised as transactions relating to government-sanctioned contracts for the purchase of arms and aviation equipment during incursions by Boko Haram in Nigeria between 2009 and 2015.”

Boko Haram and other terrorist groups reigned in most parts of Northern Nigeria, killing over 200 people with more 20,000 persons displaced. The bombing of a United Nations building in the capital city, Abuja, was one of the landmark attacks of the terror group.

The US court said the diverted funds were meant for procurement of arms for Nigerian forces to combat the terror groups. The funds were, however, diverted through foreign bank accounts to and from companies to family members of the former ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2015 general elections.

His Majesty’s Attorney General, Mark Temple KC, said the recovery of the $8.9million loot demonstrates the effectiveness of the 2018 Forfeiture Law in recovering the proceeds of corruption and restoring that money to victims of crime.

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