A report released by the United States Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria to officially inform the general public about the return of resources stolen by the former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha and his conspirators revealed a new set of funds locked outside the country.
According to the report, the $319m which was repatriated a week after Nigeria got $311 million is totally different from another batch of the Abacha loot. The embassy revealed that “the funds returned last week are distinct and separate from an additional $167 million in stolen assets also forfeited in the United Kingdom and France”
The release added that an additional amount of $152 million from the stolen proceeds of Abacha is still in active litigation in the United Kingdom. The report further stated that the United States will continue to help combat corruption and to ensure a successful outcome in the return of these funds.
The recent disbursement was allocated for the construction of some facilities in Nigeria. “these funds will be used by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority for three infrastructure projects in strategic economic zones across Nigeria, as authorized by the Nigerian government.” the report stated.
The facilities identified to be funded by the recovered funds are the Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, and the Abuja-Kano road.
General Sani Abacha served as head of state from 1993 until 1998. According to many, the dictator presided over a government that was fraught with corruption, fraud and financial embezzlement.
Although the numerous critics of his corrupt government could not lay hold on any specific figure as the actual amount stolen, Transparency International once estimated that Abacha may have stolen up to $5bn during his five (5) years of governance.