Jersey Court Orders Repatriation of $8.9m Allegedly Misappropriated by Nigerian Officials



In a landmark decision, a Royal Court in Jersey has ordered the repatriation of $8.9 million (approximately £6.9 million) to Nigeria. The funds, allegedly misappropriated by Nigerian government officials in 2014, were disguised as payments for arms purchases to combat the Boko Haram insurgency.

The ruling marks a significant victory for Nigeria’s efforts to recover stolen assets held abroad. The funds, deposited in a Jersey bank account, were reportedly diverted from government coffers under the guise of purchasing arms to fight the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram. However, the court found sufficient evidence to suggest that the funds were instead misappropriated by officials for personal gain.

Controversies had surrounded the purchase of weapons in the fight against insurgency with the then National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, being accused of diverting funds meant for security equipment during Jonathan’s administration.

Also in late 2014, a private jet was arrested in South Africa with $10m cash, which was allegedly meant for the purchase of military weapons.

However, the order of the Royal Court in Jersey followed a forfeiture notice to the court by Jersey’s Attorney General, Mark Temple KC.

The court held that the funds were deposited in a Jersey bank account and were not used for the arms purchase.

Temple said the Government of Jersey was in close partnership with Nigeria on the repatriation of the funds.

The AG claimed part of the funds were shared with family members of politicians in the then-ruling Peoples Democratic Party ahead of the 2015 general election.

“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,” he said.


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