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Republic Of Ireland Sets To Return €5.5m Abacha Loot To Nigeria

The Republic of Ireland is set to return about N2,514,651,800 (€5.5 million) stolen by the Nigerian former head of state, General Sani Abacha to Nigeria.

The money was frozen by the Ireland Criminal Assets Bureau in 2014 where it was kept in an Ireland bank account.

Nigeria and Ireland made the agreement during the signing of memorandum of understanding by Ireland minister of justice and equality, Helen McEntee.

This was followed by an order recently issued by a court in Ireland regarding the funds.

McEntee said in a statement on Thursday:

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 $1 billion in funds worldwide, of which approximately €5.5 million 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.

It demonstrates the intent of both States to uphold our shared values and our international obligations to eliminate corruption

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