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Published On: Thu, May 30th, 2019

Nigeria in talks with France, US to repatriate looted $500m

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By Vivian Okejeme Abuja

The former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has revealed that the Federal Government, under his watch, recovered looted funds to the tune of over N279billion
Malami also disclosed that negotiations for the return of $500million worth of assets located in the United States, Island of Jersey and France, is also underway.
This is following the expiration of the first tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari, and as Malami also stepped down.
In the event that was witnessed by three former AGFs, Malami officially handed over to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General of the Federation, Mr. Dayo Apata.
Enumerating his achievements in the previous dispensation, Malami disclosed that the Federal Government, under his watch, recovered looted funds to the tune of over N279billion.
“Following negotiations, we were able to finalize and sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between World Bank, Nigeria and Switzerland.
“The MOU sets out the modalities for the early return and transparent management of $322.5Million stolen assets from Switzerland,’’ he revealed.
‘’The fund has since been repatriated back to Nigeria and is now being managed by the National Social Investment Office under the supervision of the World Bank. It is aimed to support households who are living below poverty line a cross the country.
“I have also led the Nigerian team in the signing of MOU on the modalities for the return of stolen assets between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.
‘’Negotiations are underway for the return of$500 Million worth of assets located in the United States, Island of Jersey and France.
“The recovery to the Federal Government of Nigeria of over $73 Million as Ordered by the UK Commercial Court being part of the proceeds from the sale of OPL 245 by Malabu Oil and Gas Company to ENI/SHELL.
“The Office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation has also recovered the sums of N59,163,029,949.46 (Fifty-Nine Billion, One Hundred and Sixty-three Million, Twenty-Nine Thousand, Nine Hundred and Forty-Nine Naira, Forty-Six Kobo) and $385,495,900.00 (Three Hundred and Eighty-Five Million, Four Hundred and Ninety-Five Thousand, Nine Hundred Dollars) locally.
”Recovery of the total sum of $779,495,900.00 and N59,163,029,949.46 respectively by the Ministry under my watch.
‘’On recoveries generally, Ladies and Gentlemen, it may interest you to know that as at 29th May, 2015, the balance in the recovery account of the Federal Government of Nigeria stands at N19,524,490,207B. (N19.5B).
“The balance has geometrically increased to N279,047,318,400B (N279B) as at 22ndNovember, 2017 and counting. “This represents an increase of 1,329%! I am glad to say that the Asset Recovery and Management Unit (ARMU) of the Ministry of Justice has played a critical role and has been strategically instrumental to this administration’s aggressive recovery drive and associated successes”.
Malami said he equally initiated policies that would ensure effective decongestion of prisons across the country, as well as policies that would enhance the anti-corruption war.”

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