$319m Fresh Abacha Loot Expected From UK, France

Fresh indications have emereged that Nigeria may soon receive another   tranche of $319million loot of former Head of State, late  General Sani Abacha from  France and the United Kingdom.

According to the US authorities involved in negotiations for its release, about $167million of the loot is in France with the UK still in custody of $152million which is also a subject of litigation.

In a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, the US said: “The funds returned last week are distinct and separate from an additional $167million in stolen assets also forfeited in the United Kingdom and France, as well as $152million still in active litigation in the United Kingdom.

The repatriation of the $152million (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 $110million out of the money to Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, a known associate of the late Abacha, according to Bloomberg report.

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, Bloomberg said.

The UK government’s National Crime Agency is also “opposing the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s application,” according to a motion filed by Bagudu’s brother, Ibrahim, to the District Court for the District of Columbia in the US capital on March 30.