Nigeria and US Government Agree to Repatriate $954,000 Alamieyeseigha Loot
Nigeria and the United States have inked an agreement to repatriate funds allegedly stolen by the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha who died in 2015. The agreement was signed by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, and the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Beatrice Jedy-Agba in Abuja on Thursday, the 16th of February.
Speaking during the press briefing, Leonard noted that the official salary of Alamieyeseigha during his tenure in office (1999-2005) did not match the amount. She also explained that the former Bayelsa governor accumulated millions of dollars through money laundering and abuse of office.
Alamieyeseigha loot to be used to develop Bayelsa healthcare
Representing Nigeria at the briefing, Solicitor-General of the Federation, Beatrice Jedy-Agba hinted that President Muhammadu Buhari has instructed that the alleged amount be used to develop the healthcare of Bayelsa.
She said, “Mr President has already approved the expected sum to be utilised for the implementation of a health centre project for the benefit of the people of Bayelsa state and to be monitored by the civil society organisations and the federal government, through the federal ministry of justice.”
Jedy-Agba further revealed that “the United States government, in collaboration with the Federal Republic of Nigeria initiated and completed forfeiture proceedings against certain real property and investment funds located in Maryland and Massachusetts against the former governor which resulted in the net forfeiture to the Government of United States of America totalling the sum of $954,807.40.”
A background story
In September 2005, Alamieyeseigha was arrested in London on charges of money laundering in September 2005. When he was detained Metropolitan police found about £1m in cash in his London home. After investigation, they found a total of £1.8m ($3.2m) in cash and bank accounts. They also discovered that the former governor had four homes in London worth an alleged £10 million.
Three months later, Alamieyeseigha jumped bail from the United Kingdom by allegedly disguising himself as a woman, a claim he denied. On December 9, 2005, he was impeached following corruption allegations and his deputy, Goodluck Jonathan took over, as Governor.
Alamieyeseigha pleaded guilty before a Nigerian court to six charges and was sentenced to two years in prison on each charge on July 26, 2007. His sentence was cut short after Jonathan granted him pardon, a move that triggered a backlash from individuals. He eventually died at the age of 62, in October 2015.
NEXT:Why Tinubu will Floor Obi at the 2023 Presidential Election?
10 Best Living Presidents in Africa
Presidents in Africa have played a crucial role in shaping the future of a continent steep…