U.S. court to repatriate over N5b stolen assets to Nigeria

A new Jersey court in the United States has ruled in favour of returning assets worth around $8.9 million reportedly stolen by government officials in Nigeria around 2014 to the country.  According to the BBC, Jersey’s Attorney General served a forfeiture notice to the Royal Court in Jersey in November.

The court ruled that negotiations will begin with the Federal Government on returning the stolen funds, which were deposited in a Jersey bank account in 2014.
Money transfers were disguised as government-approved contracts for acquisition of arms during the Boko Haram insurgency from 2009 to 2015. The Jersey government stated that it is likely that a significant portion of the funds intended for lawful arms transactions was redirected through overseas bank accounts allegedly involving Shell companies.
The Attorney General’s office also said the funds were believed to have been stolen by members of the former ruling party, and were shared during the 2015 general elections in the country.
Mark Temple KC, the Attorney General of His Majesty, mentioned that the Government of Jersey collaborated closely with the Federal Republic of Nigeria to reclaim the assets on behalf of the Nigerian people.
His words: “This case again demonstrates the effectiveness of the 2018 Forfeiture Law in recovering the proceeds of corruption and restoring that money to victims of crime.
“I now intend to negotiate an asset return agreement with the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”  He continued: “Negotiations for the return of these assets will now take place with the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The transfer of money was disguised as government-sanctioned contracts for arms purchases during the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria between 2009 and 2015.”


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