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$150 Million Abacha Loot to be Returned to Nigeria by France

The French government announced on Friday its intention to return $150 million from the late General Sani Abacha’s wealth.

This development was relayed by Ajuri Ngelale, the president’s special adviser on media and publicity, in a statement published on Friday following a meeting between President Bola Tinubu and Catherine Colonna, the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs.

Following the death of Abacha, Nigeria’s military leader from 1993 to 1998, the country has successfully repatriated hundreds of millions of cash held overseas.

President Bola Tinubu thanked France for the repatriation of funds embezzled from Nigeria by the former Head of State.

“Thank you for the good news on the return of Abacha loot. We appreciate your effective cooperation concerning the return of Nigeria’s money. It will be judiciously applied in attaining our development objectives,” he stated.

In addition to retrieving the Abacha money, the President announced a €100 million agreement between Nigeria and France to fund the i-DICE program, which encourages investment in ICT and Creative Arts Industries.

The President emphasized the significance of strengthening political and economic cooperation while praising the two countries’ growing engagement in areas such as climate change, economic integration, education, and culture.

President Emmanuel Macron’s goodwill and France’s readiness to expand mutually beneficial collaboration with Nigeria in numerous sectors were conveyed by the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs.

She has formally invited President Bola Tinubu to the forthcoming Paris Peace Forum.

The French Presidential Envoy indicated that the Abacha loot was repatriated when the relevant legal procedures were completed.

“It was a long process, but we are glad that it was concluded. Sometimes, justice may be slow, but this is a very good achievement,” she said.

In May 2022, the United Kingdom retrieved $23 million taken unlawfully out of Nigeria by Abacha’s allies and family. Three months later, the US returned $20 million to Nigeria as part of the plunder associated with Sani Abacha and his associates.

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