U.S. Court Orders Return Of Over N5bn Stolen Assets To Nigeria

A U.S. court in New Jersey has decided to return approximately $8.9 million, allegedly stolen by Nigerian government officials in 2014, to Nigeria.

The Royal Court in Jersey received a forfeiture notice from Jersey’s Attorney General in November, and negotiations with the federal government for the return of the funds will commence following the court’s ruling.

The funds were deposited in a Jersey bank account in 2014, disguised as money transfers related to government-approved contracts for acquiring arms during Boko Haram’s activities in Nigeria from 2009 to 2015.

The Jersey government indicated that a considerable amount of funds designated for legitimate arms transactions may have been diverted through international bank accounts, purportedly linked to shell companies.

The Attorney General’s office asserted that these funds were suspected to have been pilfered by individuals from the previous ruling party and distributed during the 2015 general elections in the country.

Mark Temple KC, the Attorney General of His Majesty, highlighted the close collaboration between the Government of Jersey and the Federal Republic of Nigeria to recover these assets on behalf of the Nigerian people.

He said, “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.”


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