According to report, Ireland has reached a deal to give back to Nigeria
€5.5m ($6.5 million) looted by former military dictator, Sani Abacha.
Helen McEntee, Ireland Minister of Justice and Equality, said the
memorandum of understanding followed an order recently issued
by a court in the European country regarding the funds.
The Ireland Criminal Assets Bureau froze the loot in 2014 under
request from the administration of then President, Goodluck Jonathan.
“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 $1bn in funds worldwide, of which
approximately €5.5m 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,” she said.
The money is the latest Abacha-linked cash reclaimed by Nigeria.
Corruption watchdog, Transparency International, estimates that Abacha,
who ruled from 1993 until his death in 1998, stole
as much as $5bn of public money during that time.
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