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US to give Nigeria the $23 million that late dictator Abacha stole

US to give Nigeria the $23 million that late dictator Abacha stole

  • The US has agreed to return Nigeria $23 million that former military dictator Sani Abacha had seized.
  • The money will be used for infrastructure projects such as the Abuja-Kano road.
  • Transparency International claimed that he syphoned off up to $5 billion.

At a signing ceremony on Tuesday, officials announced that the United States would return to Nigeria the $23 million that former military dictator Sani Abacha had seized.

In recent years, Nigeria has come to various agreements on the return of stolen money. From 1993 until his death in 1998, Abacha oversaw the most populous and significant oil exporting country in Africa. Transparency International claimed that he syphoned off up to $5 billion in taxpayer funds during that time. He was never put on trial.

The money was in UK accounts, according to US Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard, but US authorities had already discovered it and blocked it. She continued by saying that, with the most recent agreement included, the US had consented to return more than $334.7 million associated with Abacha.

Under the direction of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, the monies would be utilised for infrastructure projects such as the Abuja-Kano road, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, and the second Niger bridge, according to Attorney General Abubakar Malami (NSIA).

“The president’s mandate to my office is to ensure that all international recoveries are transparently invested and monitored by civil society organizations to compete for these three projects within the agreed timeline,” Malami.

Nigeria must spend money returned from cash Abacha looted on approved public projects, the US Justice Department has already stated, or be obliged to “replace” it.

Nigeria previously managed to secure the release of millions of money that the former tyrant had hidden in offshore banks.

The Swiss government announced in 2017 that it has achieved an understanding with the Nigerian government and the World Bank about the return of $321 million to the West African nation.

The statement at the time stated that the monies will “strengthen social security for the poorest sectors of the Nigerian people.”

Authorities in Jersey claimed to have taken more than $267 million from Abacha’s family and friends in 2019. The money that had been stolen from the son of the late dictator, Mohammed Abacha, and recovered from assets that had been seized was discovered in a Channel Islands account kept by a shell firm.

After a five-year court fight, the stolen monies were found and paid into a designated recovery fund, where they were divided among the governments of Nigeria, Jersey, and the US.

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