Nigeria, USA sign agreement for return of fresh $23.4m Abacha loot

An agreement has been signed by Nigeria and the United Sates of America (USA) for repatriation of additional $23,439,724 allegedly looted by the late military Head of State, General Sani Abacha.

While the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami [1], represented the Federal Government in the signing of the asset return agreement at the Headquarters of the Ministry of Justice in Abuja, the United States was represented by its ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Various sums of money allegedly stolen from the national treasury when Abacha was head of state, commonly referred to as ‘Abacha Loot’ had been repatriated from most countries in Europe and the United States of America since the former maximum leader died in 1998 and return of democratic governance in 1999.

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Malami said the decision to return the Abacha loot, which he tagged Abacha-5, was a product of series of negotiations and meetings between Nigeria, the U.S. Department of Justice and the United Kingdom National
Crime Agency (UK-NCA).

“It is worthy to note that in line with the terms of the agreement, President Muhammadu Buhari had already approved the funds to be used for the ongoing Presidential Development Infrastructure Funds (PIDF) projects namely: Abuja-Kano Road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Second Niger Bridge linking Asaba, Delta State with Onitsha Anambra State and the South East under the supervision of Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

“The President’s mandate to my office is to ensure that all recoveries of the nation’s stolen resources from foreign countries are invested in a transparent and accountable manner and monitored by civil society organisations (CSOs) to complete the projects within the agreed timeline,” Malami said.

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