Nigeria still pursuing over N52.6 billion looted by Ibori, N37.9 billion looted by Abacha

Nigeria is trying to recover assets looted by former public servants from many corners of the world.

Former Delta State governor, James Ibori, was convicted and sentenced in the UK for money laundering [Metropolitan Police]

The United Kingdom announced on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 that it will soon return the sum of £4.2 million (N2.2 billion) recovered from the former governor to Nigeria.

Ibori was convicted in the UK in 2012 for fraud and money laundering years after he finished his two terms as Delta Governor, and was released in 2016.

While celebrating the repatriation deal with the UK on Tuesday, Nigeria's Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said Nigeria is still pursuing billions of naira looted by the former governor.

"The amount that has been signed to be repatriated is indeed a fraction of a larger amount within the region of over £100 million which is still subject to judicial proceeding," he said.

Malami also dismissed suggestions that the repatriated sum should be handed back to the Delta State Government where it was looted.

He noted that the law violated by Ibori is a federal law, making the Federal Government the victim of the crime.

"The fact is that it's for the benefit of the Nigerian state as a victim of crime and not the Delta State Government," the Attorney-General of the Federation said.

Malami noted that Nigeria is still pursuing numerous looted assets in numerous jurisdictions across the world, including over $100 million (N37.9 billion) tied to former military Head of State, Sani Abacha.

Billions of naira looted by Abacha have already been recovered several times since Nigeria returned to democratic governance after his sudden death in 1998.

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