The French Government has return $150 million looted from Nigeria by the former military Head of State, late General Sani Abacha.
This was disclosed on Friday during a visit to President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Villa in Abuja by France’s Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna.
Speaking about the Abacha wealth, the French Presidential Envoy emphasised that it is a significant accomplishment for France and that the loot was repatriated after protracted legal proceedings were completed.
“It was a long process, but we are glad that it was concluded. Sometimes, justice may be slow, but this is a very good achievement,” she said.
She highlighted President Emmanuel Macron’s goodwill and France’s willingness to increase mutually beneficial cooperation with Nigeria in a variety of fields.
Colonna also praised President Tinubu’s ECOWAS leadership and went on to formally invite President Bola Tinubu to the upcoming Paris Peace Forum.
She said: “We support your efforts at ECOWAS. We are behind you because we believe that constitutional order is a treasure for all countries, and democracy must be a reality.”
In his remarks, President Tinubu expressed his appreciation to France for the return of the Abacha loot and also acknowledged the signing of a €100 million agreement between Nigeria and France to support the i-DICE programme, a Federal Government initiative to promote investment in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Creative Arts Industries.
President Tinubu also commended the strengthening of bilateral relations between Nigeria and France, noting that this progress followed his visit to Paris after his inauguration.
“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,”
Tinubu informed France’s Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, who broke the news.
The President praised the increasing cooperation between the two nations in areas of common interest, such as climate change, economic integration, education, and culture, while highlighting the need to strengthen cooperation on both political and economic fronts.