Nigeria to get another $6.5 million Abacha loot from Ireland
Nigeria has reached a deal with the government of Ireland to return back to the West African country $6.5 million part of stolen money looted by former military dictator Sani Abacha.
Ireland’s minister for justice and equality, Helen McEntee, in a statement said the money to be repatriated is the latest Abacha-linked cash reclaimed by Nigeria.
The late Abacha had been reputed to have stolen as much as $5 billion from Nigeria Treasury during his infamous regime, according to the Transparency International estimates.
Abacha ruled Nigeria as military head of state from 1993 until his death in 1998 and Nigeria has continued to recover part of funds he looted from the treasury during his reign.
“The return of these assets will be the first time that Ireland has taken such action and will be a concrete demonstration of Ireland’s commitment to international cooperation in the fight against corruption,” McEntee, Ireland’s Minister for Justice and Equality, said in a statement.
Ireland froze the funds in October 2014 as part of an international operation that froze more than $1 billion worldwide, the statement said.
The agreement comes as Nigeria scrambles for cash to fill holes that have opened up in its budget as the coronavirus pandemic hammers oil prices.
In May, Nigeria received just over $312 million in Abacha loot from the United States and the British dependency of Jersey, despite concerns raised by a powerful U.S. senator that it could be misappropriated.