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Thursday, 7 May 2020

US hints of fresh $319m Abacha loot in UK, France

US hints of fresh $319m Abacha loot in UK, France

There is fresh $319m loot of Ex- Head of States, General Sani Abacha, in France and the United Kingdom, the United States has declared.

$167m of the loot is in France while UK has $152m of Abacha assets, it added.

The United States however stated the $152m loot in the UK is a subject of litigation.

In a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, the US said: “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.

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The repatriation of the $152m (now $155m due to interest) to Nigeria is being challenged by the UK and the US because of alleged plans by the Nigerian government to give $110m out of the money to Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, a known associate of the late Abacha, Bloomberg reported.

Nigeria is seeking the approval of a UK court to take ownership of the assets before returning 70 percent of the proceeds to Bagudu under the terms of a 2018 deal, according to Bloomberg.

The UK government’s National Crime Agency is also “opposing the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s application,” according to a motion filed by Bagudu’s brother, Ibrahim, to the District Court for the District of Columbia in the US capital on March 30.

The US Department of Justice said in February that its Nigerian counterpart is hindering its efforts to recover the allegedly laundered money from the UK.

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