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FG, US sign agreement for return of fresh $23.4m Abacha loot

The Federal Government, on Tuesday, signed a fresh agreement with the United States for the repatriation of a total sum of $23,439,724 that was allegedly looted by the late military Head of State, General Sani Abacha.

While the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, represented FG in the ceremonial signing of the asset return agreement held at the Federal Ministry of Justice Headquarters in Abuja, the U.S. government was represented by its Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

The money allegedly stolen from the national till when Abacha was head of state, which is now known as the ‘Abacha Loot’ has been repatriated from most countries in Europe and the Americas since his death in 1998 and return of democracy in 1999.

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

“It is worthy to note that in line with the terms of this Agreement, Mr. President had already approved the funds to be utilized for the ongoing Presidential Development Infrastructural Funds (PIDF) projects namely; Abuja-Kano Road, Lagos-Ibadan Express Way and the Second Niger Bridge under the supervision of 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 organizations to complete these three projects within the agreed timeline,” Malami stated.

So far, trillions of Naira of the Abacha loot has been repatriated with many more believed to be still out there in the vaults of Western and Asian banks.

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