HL Deb 04 April 2001 vol 624 c119WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, following the explanation given to them by the Nigerian authorities of the limited scope of Decree 53 of 1999, which concerns only the forfeiture of assets of certain persons in relation to the Ajaokuta claims, they are now in a position to help the Nigerian Government to freeze bank accounts controlled by the Abacha family and their associates. [HL1496]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton)

Her Majesty's Government confirm that they received on 21 March 2001 a response from lawyers acting on behalf of the Government of Nigeria to the queries raised by them in September 2000. These are now being considered by Counsel acting on behalf of the Secretary of State, who will advise the Secretary of State in due course.

Her Majesty's Government remain anxious to assist the Government of Nigeria and welcome the responses now received. They emphasise however that any action they take must be in accordance with United Kingdom domestic law in relation to such assistance.