In a recent statement, the Presidency of Nigeria has announced that France will return $150 million worth of assets that were allegedly stolen by former Nigerian military leader General Sani Abacha.
The announcement was made by Catherine Colonna, the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, during a visit to Abuja. Colonna stated that she had informed President Bola Tinubu of the planned return of the seized funds.
The repatriation of stolen assets has been a long-standing issue between France and Nigeria, and this latest development is seen as a positive step towards resolving the dispute.
Tinubu was quoted saying;
“Thank you for the good news on the return of Abacha loot. We appreciate your effective cooperation concerning the return of Nigeria’s money. It will be judiciously applied in attaining our development objectives.”
“I also informed President Tinubu that in response to the request submitted by the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Justice, and in agreement with the US Administration, France will return to Nigeria the assets stolen from the Nigerian people by General Sani Abacha and his family, that have been frozen in France since 2021.
“We will start discussions with the Nigerian administration in order to allocate these 150 million US dollars to development projects benefiting the population, according to the priorities of the Nigerian government.”