The United States and Jersey on Monday, February 3, 2020, entered a trilateral agreement with Nigeria to transfer 100 percent of the net forfeited assets from part of Abacha loot to Nigeria to support three critical infrastructure projects. In 2014, US District Judge John D. Bates for the District of Columbia entered judgment forfeiting approximately $500 million located in accounts around the world, as the result of a civil forfeiture complaint filed by the Department of Justice against over $625 million traceable to money laundering involving the corruption proceeds of Abacha. However, after several appeals were exhausted in the US in 2018, the government of Jersey enforced the US judgement against over $308 million located in that jurisdiction.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski said the forfeited assets are part of corrupt monies laundered by General Abacha and his cronies during his military regime, the office he assumed through a military coup on Nov. 17, 1993, and held till his death on the seat on June 8, 1998. The trilateral agreement includes key measures to ensure that the money is transparently and accountably spent on the said infrastructures. This case was brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative by a team of dedicated prosecutors in the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section working in partnership with FBI.