The Liechtenstein’s government has agreed to return to Nigeria €167m ($227 million) linked to the late General Sani Abacha, ending the country’s longest running battle to recover money that the late military dictator laundered through European banks.
Liechtenstein’s constitutional court dismissed a final appeal over the return of the funds in March 2013, but the principality still refused to release the money, infuriating Nigerian officials.
Abacha, who died in 1998, was suspected to have looted Nigeria to the tune of about $2.2 billion during his dictatorial rule from November 1993 to June 1998. Nigeria first requested help from Liechtenstein in 2000 to recover the cash stashed there.
The revelation is coming on the heels of the withdrawal of the charges filed against Mohammed, Abacha’s son, by the federal government. He was accused of receiving N100bn ($600m) of the late dictator’s money, and has fought off various attempts to charge him over the years.
Meanwhile, the federal government’s decision to withdraw the charges it filed against Mohammed was announced at yesterday’s proceedings before Justice Mamman Kolo of an Abuja High Court.