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.
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.
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.
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.
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.