A New Jersey court has ordered the return of £6.9 million ($8.9 million) to Nigeria, after finding that the money was looted by corrupt Nigerian officials in 2014.
The funds were seized by Jersey’s Attorney General in November, following an investigation that revealed they were part of a fraudulent scheme to buy arms for the fight against Boko Haram militants in Nigeria between 2009 and 2015.
According to LEADERSHIP, the scheme involved former President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party and his associates, including ex-National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and ex-Christian Association of Nigeria President, Ayo Oritsejafor, who faced allegations of embezzling and laundering money meant for security equipment.
The court ruled that the funds, which were held in a Jersey bank account, had been diverted from legitimate contracts through offshore accounts and shell companies linked to the PDP.
Jersey’s Attorney General, Mark Temple KC, praised the cooperation between Jersey and Nigeria in the recovery process.
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.”