Fidelity bank banner Bayelsa State banner
US Embassy raises hope on $500m Abacha loot, promises to relay letter to Trump

By News Express on 07/05/2017

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 600

•Late Sani Abacha.
•Late Sani Abacha.

The Embassy of the United States of America in Nigeria has identified with the quest by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) for the return of the $500 million Abacha loot, promising to relay the group’s letter on the issue to President Donald J. Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The US Embassy said in a letter to SERAP: “The Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are in regular communication with the Nigerian Attorney General and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding further cooperation needed to conclude pending asset forfeiture cases and to develop a mechanism for the timely and transparent repatriation of those assets.”

The embassy letter signed by David J. Young, Deputy Chief of Mission followed SERAP’s letter dated 3 February 2017 and signed by the organisation’s US Volunteer Counsel, Professor Alexander W. Sierck, and Executive Director Adetokunbo Mumuni.

SERAP had in the letter told Mr Trump that, “the US Department of Justice must promptly initiate civil asset forfeiture proceedings against the $500 million proceeds of corruption so as to fulfill several non-controversial commitments by the US to assist Nigeria in recovering assets looted by former Nigerian government officials.”

In response, the US Embassy said last week: “Thank you for your letter regarding the recovery of Nigerian assets. As part of the 2010 Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, the US Department of Justice has sought to forfeit the proceeds of corruption by foreign officials [including from Nigeria], and where appropriate, to use recovered assets to benefit the people who were harmed. This policy is consistent with US treaty obligations, including the UN Convention against Corruption.”

The embassy letter reads in part: “The United States Government supports the Government of Nigeria’s efforts to work with civil society to identify how harm can be remedied through the return of stolen assets. We encourage you to disclose these issues with the Nigerian Attorney General and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who are working closely with the US on the repatriation process.

“We were encouraged by civil society’s role in the development of Nigeria’s Open Government Partnership Action Plan and the commitment to strengthening laws to foster transparency and accountability in the management of recovered and returned assets.”

It would be recalled that SERAP had in its letter said: “The $500 million proceeds are separate from the $480 million of Abacha-origin funds that have been forfeited to the US under an August 2014 US federal district court order. SERAP’s request is fully consistent with the UN Convention Against Corruption, which both the US and Nigeria have ratified.”

SERAP’s letter reads in part: “We urge your new Administration to initiate discussions with the Nigerian government to fulfill these objectives within an agreed framework and timeline. Simultaneously, the Administration should instruct the Justice Department to initiate civil asset forfeiture proceedings in regard to the above-referenced $500 million in assets described above.

“Any bilateral discussions between the US and Nigeria concerning these assets should include clear acknowledgement of the significant role that civil society plays in asset recovery matters.

“To that end, the respective governments ought to commit to promptly sharing information with relevant civil society organizations on stolen assets of Nigerian origin located in the US or otherwise subject to US jurisdiction. This proposed commitment is similar to one between the US and Kenya as well as consistent with Articles 46(4) and 56 of the UN Convention Against Corruption.

“SERAP notes that Article 51 of the UN Convention against Corruption provides for the return of “corrupt” assets to countries of origin as a fundamental principle. Article 43 provides likewise. Similarly, under Articles 47(3)(a) and (b) states parties have an obligation to return forfeited or confiscated assets in cases of public corruption, as here, or when the requesting party reasonably establishes either prior ownership or damages to the states.

“In SERAP’s judgment, some or all of these requirements have been met with respect to the $500 million in proceeds described above. A resolution adopted by the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention Against Corruption in Panama in November 2013 reaffirms this obligation, by requiring state to make “every effort” to return such proceeds. to the victim state.

“Nigeria’s Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption has recently informed SERAP that the US Government has identified another $500 million or so proceeds of Nigerian corruption subject to US jurisdiction.”

 

 

Source News Express

Posted 07/05/2017 8:09:39 PM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

 

You may also like...
Abia sets up mobile courts to try tax...

Trump bans citizens of 7 countries from entering...

Oil up near $50 on bets for large...

NUPENG strike looms over poor welfare

Awka youths declare sex strike •Want action against...

Obiano flags off construction of $11.4m modern abattoir...

NOVA Merchant Bank appoints Anya Duroha as Acting...

PDP National Chairmanship Race: OGD is an achiever...

Fayemi vows to review mass recruitment by Fayose...

Breaking news: Gunfire rocks Maiduguri as soldiers, Boko...

Phasing out Danfo buses in Lagos will create...

Nigerian Army clears the air on Plateau bomb...

 

Latest News MTN Scandal: CBN defends sanctions on indicted banks, reassures foreign investors Ex-President’s son, 14 others banned from leaving Liberia over ‘missing’ $60m Priest commits suicide in church after assault claim Buhari orders IGP not to invite Senator Adeleke over alleged exam malpractice Family of 6 burnt in gas explosion Heads will roll if Osun governorship election is rigged: Civil society group warns APC paying security officials to rig Osun poll: PDP Sacked government officials in Benue abscond with vehicles Lawyer demands N600 million unpaid legal fee from Fayose ANN will deliver $4trillion economy within ten years — Presidential aspirant Olawepo-Hashim Choice of Kwara APC guber candidate will be rigorous, transparent —Minister Flood submerges 5 Benue communities, rice mill: Agency

 

Most Read NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (394,638 views) Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (375,788 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (307,319 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (249,883 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (231,411 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (221,201 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (199,353 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (180,986 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (165,058 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (162,984 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (157,661 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (146,529 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (62) Business & Economy (3,610) Business Verdict (51) Columnists (930) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (546) Features (651) Global Business Monitor (301) International (2,409) Interview (164) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (143) News (38,984) Opinion (1,105) Pidgin (11) Politics (6,640) Religion (867) Sports (1,693) Stock Watch (33) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

CBN banner

Firstmobile banner

 

 

NEWS EXPRESS TV

I am Imo State's New Governor -- Okorocha's son-in-law Uche Nwosu...

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement