Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Nigeria wants return of Abacha assets

27 March 2014, 11:37

Abuja - Assets worth $458m stolen by former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha and frozen by the United States should ultimately be returned to Nigeria, the country's justice minister said on Wednesday.

The US has said the funds held in various European accounts were the "proceeds of corruption" during Abacha's iron-fisted military rule in Africa's most populous country between 1993 and 1998.

Nigeria had not previously commented on the asset freeze, which the US Justice Department said was "the largest civil forfeiture action to recover the proceeds of foreign official corruption" it had ever brought.

But in a statement, Nigeria's Justice Minister Mohammed Adoke said it applauded "the efforts of the United States to recover the [funds] for the benefit of the people of Nigeria".

Adoke said his office was co-operating with Washington's legal efforts against Abacha's relatives and associates, which could result in the permanent forfeiture of all the money.

"The overall objective of these efforts is to ensure that Nigeria as the Victim State is able to have the forfeited assets repatriated," Adoke said.

Nigeria "will do all that is required to realise this objective", he added.

Corruption and abuse of office

The US Justice Department did not specify what actions would be taken with regard to the Abacha funds when the seizure was announced on 5 March.

The US government's Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative "where appropriate" provides for the return of stolen proceeds "to benefit the people harmed by these acts of corruption and abuse of office".

Civilian rule was restored in Nigeria a year after Abacha's sudden death in 1998 but corruption has persisted and even worsened, according to some experts.

The repatriation of the Abacha funds directly into Nigeria's coffers would likely spark criticism among civil society leaders who claim the government cannot be trusted to spend money on public services.

Nigeria is Africa's top oil producer but most of its roughly 170 million people live on less than $2 a day and despite the abundant energy resources electricity supply remains woeful.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Why he does not call your name

A slip of the tongue can happen just any time. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Why Boniface Mwangi wants DP Ruto...

Photojournalist and activist Boniface Mwangi is now demanding for the Deputy President William Ruto’s tax returns. Read more...

Submitted by
Vincent Munga
Jambojet increases flight frequen...

Jambojet will increase its flights to Mombasa from 22 to 31 flights a week, while Kisumu, Eldoret and Ukunda will have a total of 20 flights per week each.  Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Al Shabaab attack Mandera hotel, ...

A total of 33 non-locals were in the hotel when the assault was launched.  Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
4 ways to handle your cheating ma...

He is cheating. How do you handle him?

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Why do men choose second wives?

Why do men choose to have second wives?