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UK Seizes N82bn From Late General Abacha’s Jersey Account
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UK Seizes N82bn From Late General Abacha’s Jersey Account

Will there be an end to the unearthing of Abacha’s loots?

Jayfred Ugo

Late General Sani Abacha was a Nigerian army officer and de facto president between 1993 until his death in 1998. He was also the first Nigerian soldier to attain the rank of a full star General without skipping a single rank.

UK Seizes N82bn From Late General Abacha’s Jersey Account

Late General Abacha laundered money through the US into the Channel Islands and now that money has been recovered.

The sum of £211,000,000 (N81.9bn) has been seized from a Jersey bank account that belonged to the former Nigerian dictator and ruler. Sources have it that the money was transferred to accounts held in Jersey by Doraville Properties Corporation, a British Virgin Islands company.

The money will be held by the government until authorities in Jersey, the US and Nigeria come to an agreement on how it should be distributed.

Any money that Jersey keeps will be put into the Criminal Confiscation Fund, which is used to pay for a variety of country projects.

Some years ago, when Nigeria recovered some money from the Abachas, the wife of the late Head of State, Maryam Abacha said: "No matter how much they recover from us, we can never be as poor as Dangote."

However, the statement was ignored, as many felt she was trying to be sarcastic because she was pained.

In June 2014, $227 million was returned to Nigeria from Liechtenstein and on the 17th of March, 2015, the Swiss government concluded plans to return $380 million to Nigeria which is part of the money stashed in Swiss bank by the former dictator.

UK Seizes N82bn From Late General Abacha’s Jersey Account

Is there a limit as to how much Late Gen. Sani Abacha stashed away?

In detailed reports presented by former Head of State, Major Abudulsalami Abubakar, he mentioned how Late Sani Abacha told Ismaila Gwarzo [Past National security adviser] to provide fake funding requests.

The funding requests were approved by him [Abacha] and the funds were usually sent in cash or travellers' cheques by the Central bank of Nigeria to Gwarzo, who then took them to Abacha's house.

Mohammed Sada then arranged to launder the money to offshore accounts. But several calls for the prosecution of MM. Sada were turned down by the Olusegun Obasanjo presidency, even after being indicted by the Justice Oputa lead Human Rights Violation Investigation Commission (popularly known as Oputa Panel). An estimated $1.4 billion in cash was delivered in this way.

In March 2014, the United States Department of Justice revealed that it had frozen more than $458 million believed to have been illegally obtained by Abacha and other corrupt officials.