US Government Blocks, Exposes Buhari’s Plan To Give Abacha Loot To Kebbi Governor

US government blocks, exposes Buhari’s plan to loot Abacha to Kebbi governor, Bagudu, who helped steal money

Buhari

The disagreement may hinder future cooperation between the two countries to recover state money moved offshore by Abacha, who, according to Transparency International, may have looted $ 5 billion during his 1993-1998 rule, Bloomberg reports.

The United States is opposed to plans by the Nigerian government to hand over approximately $ 100 million stolen by the deceased military head of state, Sani Abacha, to Kubbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu.

The disagreement may hinder future cooperation between the two countries to recover state money moved offshore by Abacha, who, according to Transparency International, may have looted $ 5 billion during his 1993-1998 rule, Bloomberg reports.

A pledge from Nigeria to transfer the funds to the governor of the state of Kebbi, Bagudu, appears to be undermining President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to undermine unbridled grafting in Africa’s largest oil producer.

The US Department of Justice says that Bagudu was involved in corruption with Abacha.
The DoJ also claims that the Nigerian government impeded US efforts to allegedly reclaim white-washed money.
Buhari administration says a 17-year agreement gives Bagudu a right to the funds and is preventing Nigeria from helping the US, according to recent files from the District Court for the District of Columbia in Washington.

“This case illustrates how complex and controversial the return of stolen assets can be to Nigeria,” said Matthew Page, a colleague at Chatham House, based in London and a former US intelligence expert.
“Instead of welcoming American efforts, Nigeria’s lawyers seem to support the interests of one of the country’s most powerful families.”

Neither Bagudu nor a spokesman for the Federation’s Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, responded to requests for comment.
The successive Nigerian governments have tried to recoup the money looted by Abacha, who died in office, and so far have repatriated more than $ 2 billion with the cooperation of other countries, according to US court records.

In the case involving Bagudu, the US filed a confiscation in 2013 against a large number of assets, including four investment portfolios held in London to trust him and his family, according to court records.

The DoJ said in a February 3 statement that Bagudu, 58, was part of a network managed by Abacha that “eclipsed, embezzled, and extorted billions from the Nigerian government.”
Bagudu is the chairman of the governors who represent the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Under the terms of that agreement, which was approved by a British court, Bagudu reportedly returned $ 163 million of allegedly laundered money to the Nigerian authorities, which in return all outstanding civil and criminal claims against him “for his involvement in corruption in the government “dropped according to a December 3 memorandum by district judge John D. Bates in Washington DC

That meant “Nigeria has renounced any interest” in Bagudu’s trust assets, including those that the US is trying to recover for the West African nation, “the opinion said.

Bagudu was able to return to Nigeria after the settlement and was elected senator in 2009.
Six years later, he was voted Kebbi’s governor in elections that brought Buhari and his party to power.

After Bagudu successfully sued Nigeria for breaching the 2003 settlement, the Buhari administration reached a new agreement with him in October 2018, according to court records.

That would result in the transfer of ownership of the investment portfolios, worth $ 155 million to the Nigerian state, which, according to Bates, would pay 98.5 million euros to Bagudu and its affiliates on December 23. The funds are currently being stopped by the UK at the request of the US

The Nigerian government claims that the updated 2018 agreement with the governor of Kebbi, which requires court approval in the UK, “will limit and reduce the threat of exposure” in the judgment in favor of Bagudu.

The full texts of neither of these settlements were published in the judicial files.

The Buhari administration submitted the 2018 deal to the British court in September in support of the request to freeze the assets so that they could go to Nigeria according to the advice

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