Abuja addresses return of Abacha loot
Publish date: 10 June 2019
Issue Number: 827
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Negotiations between Nigeria, the US and Jersey for the return of $300m siphoned by the late dictator Sani Abacha have reached an advanced stage, the Daily Trust has learned. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, Jersey's Civil Asset Recovery Fund said shell company Doraville held the funds which were frozen in 2014. After a five-year legal wrangle, the money has now been recovered and will be split between Jersey, the US and Nigeria. Presidential official Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu confirmed that a Jersey court established that the funds must be refunded to Nigeria. ‘The procedure requires that Nigeria, Jersey Island and USA should sign a memorandum of understanding on how the funds should be managed,’ she said. Robert McRae QC said the seizure ‘demonstrated the commitment to tackling international financial crime and money laundering’. The US Department of Justice itself has previously forfeited millions of dollars back to Nigeria after finding that Abacha and his associates laundered funds through the US banking industry.