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Fresh $319M Abacha loot discovered in UK and France

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Abacha loot

Barely a week after helping to repatriate $311m (N118bn) stolen by the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, the United States says there is a separate $319m (N121bn) Abacha loot in the United Kingdom and France.

The US Embassy in Nigeria said in a statement on Wednesday that there is $167m in stolen assets in France while there is a separate $152m in the UK which is being challenged in court.

The statement read in part, “The funds returned last week are distinct and separate from an additional $167m in stolen assets also forfeited in the United Kingdom and France, as well as $152m still in active litigation in the United Kingdom.”

Bloomberg had reported that the repatriation of the $152m (now $155m due to interest) to Nigeria is being challenged by the UK and the US because of alleged plans by the Nigerian government to give $110m out of the money to Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, a known associate of the late Abacha.

Nigeria is seeking the approval of a UK court to take ownership of the assets before returning 70 percent of the proceeds to Bagudu under the terms of a 2018 deal, according to Bloomberg.

Nigeria’s Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has, however, denied ever entering a deal with Bagudu but court papers say otherwise.

Abacha is estimated to have stolen as much as $5bn during his five-year rule.

 
 
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