The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has said close to $1bn was “stolen under a previous, undemocratic junta in the 1990s.” Buhari, in an article published in Newsweek, a United States-based magazine, expressed appreciation to the “friendly nations” that returned the stolen funds.
Though the President did not mention Abacha by name, it was apparent he was referring to the deceased dictator. Saturday PUNCH reports that, three weeks after, Nigeria received $311m in repatriated Abacha loot from the United States and the Bailiwick of Jersey.
After Nigeria recovered the loot from US and Jersey, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said the money would be used in expediting construction of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Abuja-Kano road, and the Second Niger Bridge. Previous recoveries had also been made from UK and Switzerland.
Buhari, in his article, stated that the country could move forward with road, rail and power station construction, “partly under own resources, thanks to close to $1bn of funds stolen from the people of Nigeria under a previous, undemocratic junta in the 1990s that have now been returned to our country from the US, UK and Switzerland.”
The President added, “That the friendly nations agreed to return the funds after so long is a testament to the fact that, with our governance reforms, Nigeria is rightly seen as an increasingly stable and beneficial place to transact and invest.”