Abuja, Nigeria.

In a press brief on February 16, 2023 the United States’ ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, announced the return of $954,000 to the Nigerian government as proceeds from laundered financial assets seized from former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha. In the press brief, Ambassador Leonard states:

“….the official salary of the former governor during his tenure as a public servant from 1999 to his impeachment in 2005 did not match the said amount. However, during that time, he accumulated millions of dollars through abuse of office, and money laundering.”

The US government, in line with President Biden’s policy on Africa, has stepped up anti-corruption measures by way of asset seizure and forfeiture. Assets illegally purchased in the US by corrupt African officials are now being confiscated and liquidated, and the proceeds returned to the country of origin. The UK has been a leading force in this regard for over a decade. The problem now is that when the proceeds are returned they find their way back into private accounts in Western banks.

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria immediately directed that the returned funds be returned to Bayelsa State to help strengthen the healthcare sector.