The United Kingdom has returned the sum of $73 million it seized in connection with the fraud associated with the controversial Oil Prospecting Lease 245 to the Nigerian government.
Though the money has been received by the Nigerian government, the name of the individual or the company the cash was recovered from has not been revealed.
A document signed by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said the money was part of the questionable proceeds from the sale of OPL 245 by Malabu Oil and Gas Company to ENI/Shell.
According to Malami, the cash had already been received and paid into the Central Bank of Nigeria.
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“The Commercial Court in the UK ordered a pay out of the sum of over $73 million with interest to the Nigerian Government, this being part of the proceeds from the sale of OPL 245 by Malabu Oil and Gas Company to ENI/SHELL.
“The said sum has also been received and deposited with the Central Bank,” the minister said.
The repatriation of the money, Malami said is coming on the heels of steps taken by the Federal Government to block the looting of funds into or out of the country by corrupt elements.
This, document said led government to sign memoranda of understanding and bilateral agreements with the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Italy to ensure that funds looted to those climes are promptly returned and vice versa.
According to Malami, government was also making international recovery efforts to cover other countries such as the United States, Ireland, Island of Jersey and France.