APC confronts PDP as US plans to return looted $8m

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A Royal Court in Jersey, United States, Orders Repatriation of Stolen Funds Valued at £6.9m ($8.9m) to Nigeria.

In 2014, during ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, an estimated £6.9m ($8.9m) was allegedly diverted by Nigerian government officials under the pretext of purchasing arms to combat Boko Haram terrorists.

The Royal Court in Jersey, United States, has ruled that the money, deposited in a Jersey bank account, is likely to have been stolen by officials in the Nigerian Government.

Controversies surrounded the arms purchase, with the then National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, accused of diverting funds intended for security equipment during Jonathan’s administration. Dasuki, a retired army Lieutenant Colonel appointed by Jonathan in June 2012, engaged in a legal battle with Nigeria’s state security services.

During his tenure, Nigeria faced a money laundering scandal as South Africa seized two planes in 2014 carrying millions of dollars allegedly intended for an arms deal.

Upon assuming power, former President Muhammadu Buhari expressed concern about the early findings of the probe via Twitter.

“The findings made so far are extremely worrying considering that within the same period, our troops were in desperate need of ammo/equipment,” Buhari said on Twitter, now X

Nevertheless, the Royal Court’s directive in Jersey came after Jersey’s Attorney General, Mark Temple KC, submitted a forfeiture notice to the court.

The court determined that the funds, deposited in a Jersey bank account, were not utilized for the intended arms purchase.

Temple emphasized the close collaboration between the government of Jersey and Nigeria regarding the repatriation of the funds.

He alleged that a portion of the funds had been distributed among family members of politicians affiliated with the then-ruling Peoples Democratic Party in preparation for 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.

In response to the recent events on Tuesday, the governing All Progressives Congress labeled the Peoples Democratic Party as a reckless party during the administration of Goodluck Jonathan.
Bala Ibrahim, the Director of Publicity for the APC, conveyed this perspective in an interview with The PUNCH, stating, “This demonstrates that the PDP government under President Goodluck Jonathan was reckless. This is also one of the reasons why Nigeria has rejected the party.”

“Since coming to power, the APC has been injecting sanity into the economy, sanity into the system. And it’s bringing in all the ingredients of presidential guides to ensure that public funds are utilised in the way and manner they are earmarked.

“So this is a welcome development and I hope it will serve as a guide to allow our government to work in accordance with the financial provisions and ensure that whoever is given responsibility is held accountable.

“I am quite aware President Bola Tinubu has set up a desk that was not there before and put Hadiza Bala Usman in charge of coordinating and monitoring all public appointees holders to ensure that everything is done in line with the plans of the government, any deviation will attract sanctions.”

But, the PDP Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Ibrahim Abdullahi, alleged that the APC-led Federal Government was notorious for corruption.

He said, “I don’t trust this government and I don’t think they will utilise this money well. I don’t think so.

“I dare this government to prove me wrong. It is a government whose officials are notorious for corruption and one whose profligacy is legendary.”