The United States Government has returned $954,000 stolen by the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, to the state government through the Federal Government.
This was disclosed to newsmen by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, February 16. She said 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.
Also speaking at the press conference, the Solicitor-General of the Federation and permanent secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Beatrice Jedy-Agba, said the funds have been approved for the construction of a healthcare center for the residents of Bayelsa state.
“This asset return arose from the forfeiture and recovery of approximately $1 million USD linked to the corrupt practices of former Bayelsa state governor, D.S.P Alamieyeseigha.
The United States government, in collaboration with the Federal Republic of Nigeria initiated and completed forfeiture proceedings against certain real property and investment funds located in Maryland and Massachusetts against the former governor which resulted in the net forfeiture to the Government of United States of America totalling the sum of $954,807.40.
Following the court order, the FRN and the USA have negotiated and finalized the terms of the asset return agreement.
It is worthy to note that in line with the terms of this agreement, Mr President has already approved the expected sum to be utilised for the implementation of a health centre project for the benefit of the people of Bayelsa state and to be monitored by the civil society organisations and the federal government, through the federal ministry of justice.”
Alamieyeseigha was Governor of Bayelsa state from 29 May 1999 to December 9, 2005. He died in October 2015 at the age of 62.
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