The Federal Government of Nigeria and the US Government have signed an agreement to return more than $23.439 million of the late General Sani Abacha loot. At the signing ceremony, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN represented the Nigerian government while the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard represented the US government.
What they are saying
Abubakar Malami, speaking at the ceremony, expressed gratitude to the US and UK government for ensuring the refund of looted funds to the country. He further disclosed that the federal government would use the $23 million to complete the ongoing Presidential Development Infrastructural Funds (PIDF) projects.
What you should know
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, at the ceremony disclosed that the US government seized General Abacha’s loot, as it violated US laws which forbids money laundering activities.
The total amount refunded by the US to Nigeria currently amounts to over $334.7 million. The $334.7 million includes a repatriation of over $308 million to Nigeria in 2020.
In 2006, the Swiss government returned $723 million in Abacha loot to Nigeria.
The PIDF projects include the construction of Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the second Niger bridge and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria expressways. The total cost of these three projects as of March 2022 stood at N1.3 trillion.