US To Freeze Abacha's Millions

sani abachaWashington has won a court case authorising the US government to seize $480m worth of cash owned by former Nigerian dictator General Sani Abacha who died in 1998.

General Abacha has siphoned the money abroad and deposited it in banks across France, Ireland, the UK and the Channel Islands. In March this year, the US won the right to freeze the assets but yesterday, the Justice Department won a federal high court case in Washington, in which it had sought the right to seize the cash.

According to a Justice Department official, the forfeiture of the money sets a record for kleptocracy actions. Washington will now redistribute the money to Nigerian projects as it sees fit.

Leslie Caldwell, the US assistant attorney general, said: “Rather than serve his county, General Abacha used his public office in Nigeria to loot millions of dollars, engaging in brazen acts of kleptocracy. With this judgment, we have forfeited $480m in corruption proceeds that can be used for the benefit of the Nigerian people.”

She added that the ultimate disposition of the funds will follow the execution of the judgment in each of these jurisdictions. General Abacha, who became Nigeria’s head of state via military coup on November 17, 1993, held power until his death on June 8, 1998 and is estimated to have stolen a total of $5bn.

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  1. Quote. …”Washington will now redistribute the money to Nigerian projects as it sees fit.”

    I know Nigeria has very serious issues with official corruption but this doesn’t sound right to me…So I.have a few questions to ask…

    In the first place, why was this Washington’s case and not Nigeria’s, since the stolen money belongs to them (Nigeria)…?

    Why did Washington decide that they will assume the responsibility of redistributing the assets of a sovereign independent state, as they see fit …?

    What will be the input of the Nigerian Government in deciding what project gets what amount..?

    Most importantly, would US Officials performing various services to Nigeria, through this “arrangement”, be remunerated from these funds…?

    If “Yes”, how much would they receive and for how long…?

  2. Doyin Adélore

    If human right is a piority to the western world such as america. Why are they now dictating for our beloved country nigeria on the issue like this that we have intellectuals to handle? This is a serious slap on nigeria and i’d have been so happy if this case can be readdressed. I don’t have any hatred for america government nor any western world in addressing some issues for us. What I am saying is that our right should not be denied! Let us all reason on this crucial issues please and come into better conclusion.

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