Don’t hand over N41B recovered Abacha loot to Kebbi governor – UK tells Buhari

The United Kingdom, (UK) has joined the United States in resisting a plan by the Nigerian government to give Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, about $110m (N41.8bn) out of the $155m (N58.9bn) stolen by late, Sani Abacha, Bloomberg reports.

The US, the UK and Nigeria are involved in a dispute over investment portfolios worth $155m traced to Abacha and held in trust for Bagudu and his family.

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Nigeria is seeking the approval of a UK court for Nigeria to take ownership of the assets before returning 70 per cent of the proceeds to Bagudu under the terms of a 2018 deal. Nigeria’s Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has denied ever entering a deal with Bagudu but court papers say otherwise.

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The UK government’s National Crime Agency is now “opposing the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s application,” according to a motion filed by Bagudu’s brother, Ibrahim, to the District Court for the District of Columbia in the US capital on March 30.

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The US Department of Justice said in February that its Nigerian counterpart is hindering its efforts to recover the allegedly laundered money from the UK.

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Bagudu was part of a network controlled by Abacha that “embezzled, misappropriated and extorted billions from the government of Nigeria,” according to the DOJ. Abacha is estimated to have stolen as much as $5bn during his five-year rule.

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