United States govt has agreed to repatriate to Nigeria about $480million believed to have been stolen by the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha and his family. According to reports, conditions on how the Abacha loot will be repatriated and other details are currently being processed.
The planned repatriation is the outcome of the recent meeting between the Department of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu.
It was also gathered that the Department of Justice in the United States now has a Kleptocracy Unit, which will assist to track looted funds and money laundered by public officials from Nigeria and other nations, starting with the Abacha loot.
A source, who spoke in confidence to reporters, said this recent development on the Abacha loot is the largest loot ever traced to a former Nigerian public officer in the U.S.
“This is the largest loot ever traced to a former Nigerian public officer in the U.S. The DOJ, the AGF and the EFCC have concluded all the talks; we are in the process of repatriation of the $480million.
“Although there are interventions from private lawyers, the DOJ prefers a government-to-government deal. I can tell you that the funds will soon be repatriated. If there is anything left, it has to do with the conditions which the US will attach to the utilisation of the funds.
“The US is likely to advise on specific areas to spend the funds on and the project monitoring mechanisms. It does not want the cash re-looted.”
It can be recalled that in January 1 2003, the federal government and the U.S. government signed a Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, so that no corrupt public officers from Nigeria can hide in the US and at the session with AGF and the EFCC boss, the Nigerian team was told that the DOJ now has Kleptocracy Unit which is closing tabs on Political Office Holders and other public officers in this country and many other nations.
The Criminal Division of the Office of International Affairs of the US Department of Justice, in a letter to the Federal Government, identified the accounts where Abacha loot was hidden.
The highlights are as follows: Doraville Properties Corporation – $287 million in Account Number 80020796 located at Deutsche Bank International Limited in the Bailiwick of Jersey; HSBC Fund Administration (Jersey) – $12 million in account number S-104460 in the Bailiwick of Jersey; and Rayville International, S. A – $1 million in account number 223405880IUSD at Banque SBA in Paris, France.
Standard Alliance Financial Services Limited – $144 million in account 223406510PUSD at Banque SBA in Paris; Mecosta Securities – $21.7 million in accounts 10030688 and 100138409 at Standard Bank in the United Kingdom; and HSBC Bank Plc – $1.6 million in account number 38175076.
Also included are Blue Holding (1) Pte Ltd/ Ridley Group Limited – £6,806,900; Blue Holding (2) Pte. Ltd/ Ridley Group Limited – £21,846,983; Blue Holding (1) Pte. Ltd/ Ridley Group Limited – £10,293,343.58; Blue Holding (2) Pte. Ltd/Ridley Group Limited – £56,962,996.26.
It has been gathered that the Abacha family has pledged to cooperate with the Federal Government.