Abacha’s loot heading back to Nigeria
Publish date: 10 February 2020
Issue Number: 859
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
More than $300m seized from Nigeria's former dictator Sani Abacha will be transferred from Jersey. This follows the signing of an agreement in the US which will see Jersey and the US, which facilitated the arrangement, retaining $5m each. Jersey will transfer the funds before 6 March and the US will then have 45 days to return it to Nigeria. US courts in 2014 ruled that Abacha had stolen the money while he was in power from 1993 until his death in 1998. BBC News reports that the Doraville bank account was subsequently frozen by Jersey's Royal Court in 2014, prompting a five-year legal battle. The returned money will be administered by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority and will be independently audited. ‘The agreement establishes a framework based on fruitful co-operation, trust and respect so that the forfeited funds can be repatriated to benefit the people of Nigeria, from whom they had been taken,’ said Jersey’s Attorney-General designate Mark Temple QC.