01 May 2020
Nigeria must use money repatriated from funds looted by former military ruler General Sani Abacha on agreed public projects or be forced to “replace” it, the U.S. Justice Department said.
The United States and the British dependency of Jersey agreed with the Nigerian government in Febuary to return $300 million that Abacha, who died in 1998, had stashed in their banks. Nigeria has pledged to use it to develop road infrastructure.
The U.S. Justice Department outlined the so-called “claw back” provison in a response to a query from a powerful U.S. senator questioning the prudence of returning the cash.
“Should any of the parties — including the United States —conclude that any of the returned funds had been used for an ineligible expenditure, a “claw-back” provision would then obligate the FRN (Nigeria) to replace fully any such improperly diverted monies,” the letter said.
It did not specify how and to whom, the money would be “replaced”.
The provision is notable as Nigeria continues efforts to repatriate money allegedly stolen during Abacha’s tenure leading Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, from 1993 until his death in 1998.
By Libby George and Camillus Eboh, Reuters, 30 April 2020
Read more at Reuters
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