General Sani Abacha is one of the many African leaders who believed power and life last forever. He was a Nigerian Army officer who is largely referred to as a dictator and de facto leader from 1993 until his death in 1998.
In his credit, however, he is on record to be the country’s first ever soldier to attain the rank of a full star General without skipping a single rank.
Since his death in an office within the presidential palace, Aso Rock, Abuja, Nigeria; General Sani Abacha has continued to make headlines as a result of his looting.
Every year, various banks and international corporations’ abroad return back to Nigeria because of the funds they claim were secretly held by the ex-leader while he was in office.
Gen. Abacha died in June 1998 while at the presidential villa in Abuja. He was buried on the same day, according to Muslim tradition, without an autopsy. This fueled speculation that he may have been murdered by political rivals via poison. The government identified the cause of death as a sudden heart attack.
In 2012, a popular Nigerian tabloid, the Guardian reported that Nigerian police recovered a stash of gold and diamond jewelry worth thousands of pounds from robbers who targeted a home belonging to the country's most notorious former dictator.
Officials in Kano, in northern Nigeria, said four men swiped $125,000 (£77,000) of jewelry last year – a staggering 20m naira in the local currency, or 100 years' income for the average Nigerian – after raiding one of many sprawling, lavish homes of the former military ruler Sani Abacha.
Today, Nigerians woke up to the familiar news that a part of Abacha’s loot has been discovered.
The report claimed that the United Kingdom Government has seized £211,000,000, about N81.9billion, from a Jersey bank account that belonged to the late Nigerian dictator.
According to a report by UK Metro news, the money was put in accounts held in Jersey by Doraville Properties Corporation, a British Virgin Islands company.
The report further stated that the money is now being held by the government until authorities in Jersey, the US and Nigeria agree on how it should be distributed.
“Any money that Jersey does keep will be put into the Criminal Confiscation Fund, which is used to pay for a variety of projects. In the past, the fund has been used for the new police station and developments at La Moye Prison.
“It is expected that even more money held by Doraville is likely to be seized and paid into the Civil Asset Recovery Fund in the future,” the report said.
In 2014, at the request of the US authorities, the Island’s Attorney-General applied for, and the Royal Court granted, a restraining order over the Jersey bank account balance of Doraville.
“The purpose of the restraining order was to preserve the money until a final civil asset recovery order could be registered in the Royal Court.”
Doraville applied to the Royal Court for the restraint order to be discharged, but the Royal Court dismissed the application in 2016.
Then in 2017, Doraville challenged the Royal Court’s decision, taking the case to Jersey’s Court of Appeal.
“That challenge was again rejected. Finally, following the decision of Jersey’s Court of Appeal, Doraville made an application to appeal against the restraint order before the Privy Council – Jersey’s ultimate appellate court.”
“In February 2018 the Privy Council announced its rejection of this final legal challenge. Last week, Solicitor General Mark Temple gave a presentation in Vienna, Austria, about Doraville at a UN conference on corruption.”
His widow, Maryam Abacha has kept her stance in saying that her husband acted in the best interest of the country.
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Header Image Credit: The Telegraph