Former Head of State, the late General Sani Abacha passed on the 8th of June 1998, that was 24 years ago.
However, in the years since his passing, governments across the world have continued to uncover stolen funds traced back to the late general. At this point, we have no idea exactly how much was stolen from the country by the Abacha family during his stint as Head of State from 1993 to 1998.
The United States, Switzerland, Lietchestein and the Channel Island of Jersey have all recovered various accounts linked to the Abacha family with amounts rising to billions of dollars in total. Now, it’s the UK’s turn.
The United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has announced the recovery of about $23.5 million in looted funds from accounts linked to the late Sani Abacha.
On Thursday, the agency announced on their website that the funds were part of a larger pool of monies identified by the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) as having been misappropriated by Abacha and his accomplices in the 1990s.
According to the statement, the money was recovered after nearly seven years of litigation and international negotiations to secure a request of recovery order by the USDOJ. The funds are now being transferred to the UK Home Office for onward transmission to the USDOJ.
Asset Denial Senior Manager at the NCA, Billy Beattie, explained that the UK is not a safe haven for criminals to launder their dirty money. He added that civil recovery of assets is a powerful weapon.
“The NCA is committed to ensuring that the UK is not a safe haven for criminals to launder their proceeds of crime, and civil recovery of assets is a powerful weapon in this fight,” Beattie said.
“We work closely with UK and international partners to tackle the threat posed by corruption, which disproportionately impacts the poorest and most vulnerable members of society.
“We are committed to ensuring that those who perpetrate corruption do not benefit from their actions.”
So really,how much did General Sani Abacha loot from Nigeria?
Transparency International, a global movement aimed at ending the injustice of corruption estimated that Abacha stole around $5bn from Nigeria. In 2020, The Cable Index stated that around $3.6bn had been recovered.
— TheCableIndex (@thecableindex) February 20, 2020
How much do you think is still out there?