According to estimates, $3.65 billion in plundered money has been recovered from the late head of state General Sani Abacha during the last 24 years with data acquired from the federal government, the World Bank, and Transparency International, an infographic was created to demonstrate this.
It was revealed that a total of $750 million was recovered from the late head of state’s family in 1998, $64 million from Switzerland in 2000, $1.2 billion from the Abacha family in 2002, $160 million from Jersey in 2003, $88 million from Switzerland in 2004, and a further $461.3 million from Switzerland in 2005.
Nigeria also had the good fortune to receive an additional $44.1 million from Switzerland in 2006; $227 million from Liechtenstein was recovered in 2014; $322 million from Switzerland in 2018; $311.7 million from the USA was repatriated in total in 2020; and most recently, an agreement was signed for an additional $23 million to be sent from the USA.
On Tuesday, the federal governments of Nigeria and the United States of America agreed to return $23 million in assets that had been stolen by the late head of state, General Sani Abacha.
In a remark at the signing in Abuja, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, had said since 2016, his ministry, the United Kingdom National Crime Agency (UK NCA), and United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) had been working closely with the legal representatives of the Federal Government to finalize litigations related to the Abacha linked assets.
Malami noted that based on an agreement between parties, the UK High Court granted the NCA a registration and recovery order on July 21, 2021, which was sealed by the court on August 4, 2021.
He said, “The forfeited Mecosta/Sani assets were subsequently transferred to the NCA, which on February 7, 2022, held that the sum of $23,439,724, pending the execution of the asset return agreement between the FRN and the USA”.
He added that in line with the agreement, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the use of the funds for the ongoing presidential development infrastructural funds (PIDF) projects, which include the Abuja-Kano road, Lagos-Ibadan expressway and the second Niger bridge, which are being supervised by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
“The President’s mandate to my office is to ensure that all international recoveries are transparently invested and monitored by civil society organisations to complete these three projects within the agreed timeline”, he said and urged the US government not to relent in supporting Nigeria’s commitment to speedy and transparent management of returned assets.