May 4, 2020

US transfers over $300 million of forfeited kleptocracy assets to Nigeria

On May 4, 2020, the US Department of Justice announced that it had transferred $311,797,867.11 to the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.  The assets represent forfeited funds derived from corruption associated with the military regime of Sani Abacha, which governed Nigeria between 1993 and 1999.  The assets were transferred pursuant to a trilateral agreement between the Bailiwick of Jersey, Nigeria, and the US, pursuant to a 2014 judgment in the US District Court for the District of Columbia that requires the forfeiture of $500 million traceable to money laundering of the proceeds of corrupt conduct by Abacha and his associates.  The agreement was entered into on February 3, 2020; it provides for the transfer of all of the forfeited assets to Nigeria to support three specific critical infrastructure projects, and includes measures to ensure transparency and accountability.  The DOJ is seeking to enforce the forfeiture judgment against additional assets located in the UK, France and Nigeria.

DOJ press release | Trilateral asset repatriation agreement