by linda ikeji
The federal government and Ireland have signed amemorandum of understanding to return €5.5 million looted by Sani Abacha, a former Nigerian Head of State.
Ireland’s minister of justice and equality, Helen McEntee in her statement said it followed an order recently issued by a court in Ireland regarding the funds.
The return of the asset found in a Dublin based bank account will be the first time the European nation has taken such action.
“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.”