David O’Mahony recently acted successfully for the United States Department of Justice and the Jersey Attorney General on an application for permission to appeal to the Privy Council from the Jersey Court of Appeal’s decision not to lift a Property Restraint Order over US$ 300 million.

The case arises from a forfeiture order made by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia which the United States Government is seeking to enforce in Jersey. The US Court found that the assets, held by a BVI company, were the proceeds of corruption by former Nigerian President, General Sani Abacha, and had been laundered through the United States banking system.

The former President led a military regime which ruled Nigeria from 1993 to 1998 and it is estimated that General Abacha stole £2.2billion from the country through theft and inflated invoices.

The funds will now remain frozen in Jersey pending proceedings to register a civil asset recovery order in the Jersey Royal Court.

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