The Federal Government is in the process of repatriating stolen £300 million pounds from Jersey.
The minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, disclosed this on Tuesday while speaking at a news conference organised as part of activities to mark the one year anniversary of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
According to the minister, the money in Jersey would have been repatriated but for a last minute ‘objection’ that was raised by the people, who were supposed to forfeit it. He said:
“We are just in the process of repatriating that in the UK itself. Sometimes very often what happens is that the people, who have ownership or who claim to have ownership (of the money) might bring up a defence.
“Like if you take the one in Jersey, it is like 300 million pounds or thereabouts; now everything had been done to repatriate the money.It was no longer contested; and then at the last minute, an objection was raised by the people, who were supposed to forfeit those funds.
“So, of course the authorities in Jersey were obliged – as much as they would have liked to just go ahead and repatriate it – to go through certain legal procedures, because the other party would have a lawyer and there were legal issues. And then we have to now start going through that all over again; so that is really the challenge.”
He also stated that the process of repatriating other looted funds stacked in other countries like Switzerland and US was also in progress. Hear him:
“It is something that takes time – repatriation of stolen funds – because very often, you have to have an idea; you have to work on lead.”
Chairman, Senate Committee on Gas, Senator Akpan Bassey, has advocated Amnesty for all looters of Nigeria’s finances. According to Sen. Bassey, who disclosed this to Newsmen in his office on Monday, this will make everyone who has stolen money to return it.
“The time has come when we have to think outside the box and my own position is this, it is possible that the government can declare amnesty on stolen money
“let every Nigerian that has taken money out of this country be given amnesty to bring back the money and invest in the country.”