Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari has finally revealed that late head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha stole money from the country’s coffers and stacked the looted funds abroad.
Prior to this time, Buhari who served under Abacha as head of Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) and was a confidant of the military despot, has continued to defend Abacha, saying he did not steal Nigeria’s money.
But in article published in Newsweek, a United States-based publication, thanked countries that have returned the looted funds back to Nigeria, even though he tactically did not mention the late head of state’s name.
In the article, Buhari wrote, “And we can now move forward with road, rail and power station construction — in part under own resources — thanks to close to a billion dollars of funds stolen from the people of Nigeria under a previous undemocratic junta in the 1990s that have now been returned to our country from the US, UK and Switzerland.
“That these friendly nations agreed to return these funds after so long is testament to the fact that Nigeria is rightly seen as an increasingly stable and beneficial place to transact and invest. It is much the same across the continent, with sub-saharan Africa now outpacing Asia, Europe and North America by some measure in terms of foreign direct investment inflows-to-GDP, perhaps for the very first time.”
Millions of Dollars have continued to be returned to Nigeria by western governments especially Switzerland where the late head of state stuffed the nation’s wealth which he stole while in office.
In 1998, General Abubakar Abdulsalami recovered $750m from the Abacha family; in 2000, General Olusegun Obasanjo recovered $64m from Switzerland; still in 2002, Obasanjo got another $1.2bn from a deal with the Abacha family and another $160m in 2003 from Jersey, British Island. Obasanjo got another $88m in 2003, $461m in 2005 and $44 in 2006, all from Switzerland.
While he was in office, former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan retrieved $227m from Liechtenstein while President Buhari got $322 in 2018 and the last $311 in 2020.