Alamieyeseigha loses N60m cash to America

A former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, on Thursday lost N60m ($401,931) to the United States Government following a court ruling, reported on Friday.

Governor of Bayelsa State Chief Diepreye Alami...

Governor of Bayelsa State Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha (right) with U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Howard F. Jeter (left), July 6, 2001 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alamieyeseigha lost the money when the US Department of Justice executed a forfeiture order granted by a federal district judge in the state of Massachusetts.

The court granted the motion after US prosecutors established that the money, which was kept by Alamieyeseigha at a Massachusetts brokerage fund, was obtained through corrupt means by the former governor, who led the oil-rich Bayelsa State from 1999 to 2005.

Alamieyesigha was convicted for corruption in Nigeria in 2007 and sentenced to two years in prison.

He forfeited several properties, which were subsequently returned to the Bayelsa State Government.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Assistant Attorney-General, Lanny Breuer, as saying, “With a declared income of less than $250,000, Mr. Alamieyeseigha accumulated millions of dollars worth of property over a six-year period.”

“Today’s announcement – the first forfeiture judgement obtained under our Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative – sends a powerful message about the United States’ commitment to rooting out corruption far and wide,” Mr. Breuer said in a press statement.

Troubles for the former governor in the US are, however, not over as the DoJ plans to get the court to grant another forfeiture order on a N90m ($600,000) house that Alamieyesigha bought in the state of Maryland.