Another fresh $319m Abacha loot in UK, France – says US

As Nigeria continue to receive Bank alert as looted funds from former military dictator Sani Abacha, US embassy in Nigeria on Wednesday May 6, revealed that there is another $319m (N121bn) looted by Abacha, in the United Kingdom and France respectively.

It is estimated that $5 billion was stolen from Nigeria during Abacha’s five-year rule.

Though It is not clear if the money in the UK is linked to Kebbi state Governor Atiku Bagudu, who was a financial adviser to the Abacha family, however the US embassy said there is a separate $167 million in stolen assets in France and another $152 million in the UK which is still subject to litigation.

Bloomberg reported that the UK is however challenging the repatriation of some funds to Nigeria over an alleged plan by the federal government to return $110 million to Bagudu.

The statement reads in part;

“The funds returned last week are distinct and separate from an additional $167m in stolen assets also forfeited in the United Kingdom and France, as well as $152m still in active litigation in the United Kingdom.”

“The U.S. Department of Justice says Bagudu was involved in corruption with Abacha.”

The report claimed that the federal government is seeking the approval of a UK court to take possession of the assets before transferring 70 percent of the proceeds to Bagudu under the terms of an agreement signed in 2018.

The Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami (SAN) has however denied entering a deal with Bagudu, but it was alleged that court papers say otherwise.

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