The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ireland for the return of funds looted by Nigeria’s former leader, the late General Sani Abacha, who ruled the country from 1993 until his death in 1998.
The Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the return of the funds would be “a concrete demonstration” of Ireland’s commitment to international cooperation in the fight against corruption.
“I am very pleased to sign this Memorandum of Understanding between Ireland and Nigeria. This represents the culmination of a long process which began with an internationally led investigation.
“The Criminal Assets Bureau took part in this international operation which led to the freezing of over $1 billion in funds worldwide, of which approximately €5.5 million was identified in a Dublin based bank account.
“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 and to assisting countries which have been adversely affected by corruption in the past, and is in line with our international obligations as a signatory to the UN Convention Against Corruption.
“It demonstrates the intent of both States to uphold our shared values and our international obligations to eliminate corruption,” McEntee said in a statement.
The MoU, a first for Ireland, is in line with its international obligations as a signatory to the UN Convention Against Corruption.
KanyiDaily recalled a month ago, the Federal Government released the $311 million Abacha loot to the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) to fund its activities.