Exclusive: South Africa Refuses To Return Nigeria’s $9.3 Million Seized From Controversial Arms Deals

Exclusive: South Africa Refuses To Return Nigeria’s $9.3 Million Seized From Controversial Arms Deals
February 18 20:12 2017 Print This Article

By Horatius Egua

Almost three years after the South African Government seized $9.3m from two Nigerians in South Africa over the failed yet controversial arms deal, the money is still in the custody of the government Frontiersnews can confirm.

In September 5, 2014 the South Africa authority seized the money, which was alleged to be money meant for the purchase of arms in the black market to tackle the menace of Boko Haram in the country.

A top security source who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity said the South African government was unwilling to repatriate the sized money despite repeated reassurances from the South African President Jacob Zuma that the it would be returned to Nigeria.

“It is unfortunate that several years after the $9.3 million was seized by the South African security, the money was yet to be returned to Nigeria despite promises from the South Africa authorities. We really don’t know why they are still holding on to the money which belongs to Nigeria. It is the height of disrespect for Nigeria by South Africa,” the source who spoke to our correspondent, on the condition of anonymity said.

Diplomatic efforts were in top gear in 2015 for the return of the seized money before detained former National Security Adviser (NSA) to former President Goodluck Jonathan Sambo Dasuki handed over to Babagana Monguno, a retired  Major General Babagana as the NSA to President Muhammad Buhari.

It could however not be confirmed if the office of the NSA  has reached out to the South Africa government in recent time for the return of the money to  the Nigeria government.

The seizure of the $9.3 million drew heavy controversies and counter accusations from both Nigeria and the South African governments but for timely intervention the dispute would have degenerated into serious diplomatic row.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) seized the funds at Lanseria Airport, north-west of Johannesburg, on September 5 2014 under controversial circumstances and ever since the seizure the funds has been domiciled at the central bank of South Africa.

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