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US returns late Alamieyeseigha’s loot

The United States Government has returned to Bayelsa State $954,000 stolen by former Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

The Federal Government approved the funds to be used for healthcare development in the state, said Solicitor-General of the Federation, Mrs Beatrice Jedy-Agba, at the signing of an asset return agreement between Nigeria and US Ambassador, Mary Beth Leonard.

Mrs. Jedy-Agba, who represented the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, stated that the FG and the US initiated and completed forfeiture proceedings against the former Bayelsa governor against certain real property and investment funds located in Maryland and Massachusetts, resulting in a net forfeiture to the government of the United States totaling $954,807.4.

Mrs. Mary Beth Leonard, the US ambassador to Nigeria, had said the US and Nigeria will continue working together to recover more stolen assets.

Alamieyeseigha’s death

Chief Alamieyeseigha was the Governor of Bayelsa State from May 29, 1999 to December 9, 2005.

He died of cardiac arrest at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital in 2015, after falling into a coma two days prior and being placed on life support.

At the time, reports indicated that the British government was determined to resurrect an old case of money laundering against the former governor and had requested his extradition to London.

Alamieyeseigha was arrested in London but jumped bail and returned to Nigeria, while refusing to answer summons for the trial to continue.

He was impeached and convicted of corruption charges in Nigeria, but former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan later granted him a state pardon.

Reporting by Ifeoma Nwovu; Editing by Saadatu Albashir