The United States Government has concluded plans for the return of $954, 807.40 stolen assets by former Bayelsa State Governor the late Diepreye Alamieyeseigha to Nigeria.
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs Mary Beth Leonard announced this during the exchange of agreement notes between the US and Nigeria in Abuja.
She said the agreement marks the conclusion of a 15-year legal process following the tenure of governance of the late Alamieyeseigha whose official salary as a public servant did not exceed the equivalent of about $81,000 per year.
Mrs Leonard noted that during the period, the former Bayelsa Governor accumulated millions of dollars worth of property through corrupt acts such as abuse of office, money laundering, and other violations of Nigerian and US law.
She said the funds were returned in accordance with “our obligations under the UN convention against corruption and to further the tenets of transparency and accountability outlined in the Global Forum on asset recovery principles for disposition and transfer of confiscated stolen assets and corruption.”
Judicious use of funds
Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami who thanked the US government for its support in the country’s anti-corruption crusade promised good utilization of the resources.
Represented by the solicitor General of the Federation, Mrs Beatrice Geddi-Agba, the Attorney General said already the president has approved that the funds be used on health projects in Bayelsa to be monitored by civil society organizations.
Malami urged the US government to continue to support Nigeria in other pending cases to ensure that, the funds are repatriated back to the country.
The Bayelsa State Attorney General Mr Biriyai Dambo SAN promised judicious use of the funds for the benefit of the people.
The US government in collaboration with Nigeria initiated the forfeiture proceedings of certain real property and investment funds located in Maryland and Massachusetts against the former Bayelsa State Governor.