The Department of Justice stated in a statement on Thursday, November 17, 2022, that the transfer of monies “is in compliance with an August 23 agreement between the countries to restore assets the United States forfeited that were traceable to the previous Nigerian dictator’s kleptocracy.””
“The forfeited assets represent illicit profits laundered during and after General Abacha’s military administration, who became Nigeria’s head of state through a military coup on Nov. 17, 1993.” “The statement went as follows:
According to a statement published on the DoJ website, the repatriation brings the total amount forfeited and returned by the US in this case to approximately $332.4m.
The transfer of funds ultimately stems from a 2014 judgement in the District of Columbia, ordering the forfeiture of approximately $500 million worth of assets linked to the former dictator.
The forfeited assets represent corrupt monies laundered during and after the military regime of Abacha, who became Head of State through a military coup on November 17, 1993, and held that position until his death on June 8, 1998.
The complaint filed in the case alleged that Abacha, his son Mohammed, their associate, Abubakar Bagudu, and others, embezzled, misappropriated, and extorted billions of dollars from the government coffers and others, and then laundered their criminal proceeds through US financial institutions and transactions.
The statement read, ‘’The United Kingdom’s cooperation in the investigation, restraint, and enforcement of the US judgment, along with the valuable contributions of Nigeria and other law enforcement partners around the world, including the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency, as well as those of the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs, have been instrumental to the recovery of these funds.
‘’Under the agreement signed in August, the US agreed to transfer 100 per cent of the net forfeited assets to Nigeria to support three critical infrastructure projects”