More revelations have emerged from court documents on the ignoble roles played by Nigerian politicians to facilitate the $2 billion looted funds by the late erstwhile Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha. The court documents revealed the roles played in the scandal by the incumbent Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Bagudu and the Senator representing Niger East Zone, David Umaru.
The documents showed how the actors opened 16 bank accounts in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France and the Bailiwick of Jersey and laundered over $2 billion stolen during the regime. Investigations revealed that before the US government sought and obtained a forfeitureORDER on the money, it had send a crack team of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), which combed the globe and tracked down where the illicit money was kept.
The $287 million was deposited into an account: 80020796 in the name of Doravile Properties Corporation at Deutshe Bank International Limited in Bailiwick ofJERSEY. Another sum of $12 million was deposited into account number S-104460 owned by Mohammed Sani (full names, Mohammed Sani Abacha) at the BSBC Fund Administration Jersey) Limited in the Bailwick of Jersey. This was as $1 million was deposited into account number 2234058801 in the name of Rayville International, SA at Banque SBA in Paris, France.
Similarly, $144 million was paid into account number 223406510PUSD in the name of Standard Alliance Financial Services Limited located at Banque SBA in Paris, France while 21.7 million Pounds Sterling was paid into account number 100130688 and 10138409 in the name of Mecosta Securities at Standard Bank in the United Kingdom. There was also $1.6 million in account number 38175076 in the name of Mohammed Sani (Abacha) at HSBC Bank Plc, just as he also deposited yet-to-be ascertained amount ofMONEYinto account number 37060762 at Midland Life International Limited.
Again, the actors used the name of Blue Holding (1) Pte Ltd, traceable to Blue Holding (2) Pte Ltd on behalf of Ridley Group Limited and or Ridley Trust at J. O. Hambro Investment Management Limited in the United Kingdom to deposit 6,806,900 Euros, just as it paid in 21,846,983 Euros in the name of Ridley Group Limited and or Ridley Trust at J. O. Hambro Investment Management Limited in the United Kingdom and an additional 10,293,343.58 Euros in the name of Blue Holding (1) Pte Ltd traceable to Ridley Trust at James Hambro & Partners LLP in the UK.
Equally stunning was thePAYMENT of 56,962,996.26 Euros in the name of Blue Holding (2) Pte Ltd traceable to Ridley Group Limited and or Ridley Trust, at James Hambro & Partners LLP in the UK. More revelations from the court documents have further proved that the group laundered mind-boggling amounts of money into bank accounts of all the earlier mentioned offshore companies in bank accounts in the British Virgin Island. In the course of investigations by the FBI and other US security agencies, the court document showed that Governor Bagudu “played an instrumental role in setting up and executing the complicated financial transactions used to launder the proceeds of the conspiracy.”
The court also affirmed that “he is also a signatory and/or corporate representative designated on many of the Abacha’s assets”. On his part, the court affirmed that Alhaji Ahmadu Daura “was an associate of the Abacha family and operated Sunshine Bureau de Change, a money exchange business located in Nigeria. He participated in the conspiracy by moving criminal proceeds out of Nigeria to accounts he controlled in England by transferring criminal proceeds into and out of the United States to bank accounts controlled by the Abacha family”.
The judgement showed that Senator David Umaru “was an attorney and associate of the Abacha family and participated in the conspiracy by communicating General Abacha’s extortion demands to third parties wishing to do business in Nigeria, including as described to the owners of Dumez Group, a French-based construction company.”
Curiously, it was after the fraudulent practices relating to the Ajaokuta Steel Company and associated phoney debt buy-back that Dumez closedSHOP and left Nigeria. FormerFINANCE Minister, Chief Anthony Ani, was not left out of the tangle of conspiracy and looting as the US court stated that while he held sway, “he authorised the disbursement of Nigerian government funds in furtherance of the Security Votes Fraud and the Debt Buy-Back Fraud.”
A team of US-based Nigerian lawyers: Messrs Jude Chukwuma Ezeala, Kenneth Nnaka, Godson Nnaka and Charles Lion Agwumezie, are still engaged in a legal battle in the District of Columbia Courts in the US with the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Alhaji Abubakar Malami, for the payment of approximately $220 million legal fees. The report listed the US-based banks involved in the fraud as ANZ Banking Group, New York; Bankers Trust Company, New York; Barclays Bank, New York; Citibank NA, New York; Chase Manhattan Bank, New York; Chemical Bank, New York; Commerzbank AG, New York; Marine Midland Bank, New York (now HSBC USA, NA, and Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, New York (now JP Morgan Chase).