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US To Return $8.9m Looted under Jonathan To Nigeria

A Royal Court in Jersey, United States, has reportedly ruled that stolen assets worth £6.9m ($8.9m) be repatriated to Nigeria.

The said assets were allegedly diverted by Nigerian government officials in 2014 under the guise of purchasing arms to fight Boko Haram terrorists.

According to BBC, the court ruled that the money, deposited in a Jersey bank account, was likely stolen by officials in the Nigerian Government in 2014.

Controversies had surrounded the purchase of weapons in the fight against insurgency with the then National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, being accused of diverting funds meant for security equipment during Jonathan’s administration.

Also in late 2014, a private jet was arrested in South Africa with $10m cash, which was allegedly meant for the purchase of military weapons.

However, the order of the Royal Court in Jersey followed a forfeiture notice to the court by Jersey’s Attorney General, Mark Temple KC.

The court held that the funds were deposited in a Jersey bank account and were not used for the arms purchase.

Temple said the Government of Jersey was in close partnership with Nigeria on the repatriation of the funds.

The AG claimed part of the funds were shared with family members of politicians in the then-ruling Peoples Democratic Party ahead of the 2015 general election.

“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,” he said.

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