The United States Government has told the Federal Government of Nigeria to be ready to “replace” the $300m General Sani Abacha loot it returned to the country if the fund was misused.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, the money must be used for the agreed public projects highlighted in the agreement signed with it before the fund was returned to Nigeria.
The United States and the British dependency of Jersey agreed with the Nigerian Government in February to return the $300m Abacha loot, according to Reuters.
The U.S. Justice Department outlined the so-called “claw back” provision in a response to a query from a powerful American senator questioning the prudence of returning the cash.
“Should any of the parties — including the United States —conclude that any of the returned funds had been used for an ineligible expenditure, a “claw-back” provision would then obligate the FRN (Nigeria) to replace fully any such improperly diverted monies,” the letter said.
It did not specify how and to whom the money would be “replaced”.
The provision is notable as Nigeria continues efforts to repatriate money allegedly stolen during Abacha’s brutal regime from 1993 until his death in 1998.
Transparency International estimates that he stole as much as $5bn of public funds during that time.