• Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

In a significant development for asset recovery, Transparency International Defence & Security UK and CISLAC applaud the Royal Court in Jersey’s ruling to seize $8.9 million misappropriated by corrupt Nigerian officials. The funds, originally allocated for equipping Nigeria’s military in the fight against Boko Haram, were diverted in 2014.

The Royal Court determined that the funds, obscured through foreign bank accounts and shell companies, ultimately benefited family members of Nigeria’s former ruling party. Nigeria, with a ‘E’ rating in Transparency International Defence & Security’s Government Defence Integrity Index, faces a very high risk of corruption in its defense sector.

Josie Stewart, Head of Transparency International Defence & Security, expressed satisfaction with the court’s decision, emphasizing the need for greater transparency in international arms deals. She urged Jersey authorities to ensure the funds’ open and accountable return to Nigeria, highlighting the risks of corruption within the defense sector.

Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, Executive Director of CISLAC/Transparency International Nigeria, welcomed the decision and called for judicious use of repatriated funds to benefit common Nigerians.

Rafsanjani urged the Nigerian Government to enhance transparency, accountability, and independent auditing in the defense and security sector. Additionally, he called on legislative committees and civil society to provide external oversight through tracking and scrutiny of budgetary allocation, appropriation, implementation, and procurement activities.

The successful return of these assets not only serves justice but also emphasizes the critical need for transparency in the global arms trade.

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor is a seasoned journalist and the CEO/Founder Belch Digital Communications, publishers of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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