Abacha loot: Liechtenstein returns $227mn to Nigeria

Late Sani Abacha: a tyrant as kleptocrat who shut out the middle class

GENEVA(AFP) – Liechtenstein said Wednesday it would return 167 million euros ($227 million) to Nigeria, ending a drawn-out battle by the African country to recover cash looted by late dictator Sani Abacha.

Abacha, who died in 1998, is suspected of having looted the Nigerian central bank to the tune of about $2.2 billion when he ruled Africa’s most populous nation from November 1993 to June 1998. Some estimates said he stole close to $4billion.

Nigeria first requested help from Liechtenstein in 2000 to recover the cash stashed there.

sani abacha: a tyrant as kleptocrat
sani abacha: a tyrant as kleptocrat

The tiny principality of some 37,000 people returned 7.5 million euros to Nigeria in late 2013, but the restitution of the bulk of the cash has long been blocked by lawsuits brought by companies linked to Abacha’s family.

Several of the companies were sentenced in 2008 to repay money proven to have been taken from Nigeria’s national budget, but four of the firms filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Following negotiations between the governments of Liechtenstein and Nigeria, the four ended up withdrawing their complaints in May, “clearing the path for repatriation of the assets once and for all,” Vaduz said in a statement Wednesday.

The World Bank had agreed “to monitor the use of the repatriated assets,” the statement said.

Liechtenstein announcement coincided with the withdrawal of a suit by Nigeria’s Federal Government against Mohammed Abacha over close to N120billion theft, made up of $140million and 385 million pounds, stolen from Nigeria’s treasury.


  1. This loot is dam too much, what I think d present government can do to save dis nation is to keep dis money in Liechtenstein and later work on it after presidential election of 2015

  2. …same Abacha is a hero in kwankwaso’s Kano. His stickers adorn all the rickety NAPEP tricycles and rusted buses and what passes as taxis in Kano.
    Had Abacha been alive, he would have been in the APC party with Mr Kwankwaso.

  3. ABACHA LOOT still reverberating across Europe and the entire world. Abacha is the epitome of awusa patriotism. Yet, the thieving clan has the temerity to dare to be heard in this country. Wretched bandits and barbaric killers duka’n su..

  4. @Lasisi,
    Why don’t you take custody of the money until “sanity returns” to Nigeria? I doubt if you have read or heard about Diogenes of Sycore, the father of Cynicism who reportedly went about in broad daylight in the streets of Athens with a lantern. He was one of the greatest philosophers and critics of the Greek authorities of his time. When asked why he did that, he said he was looking for an “honest man” and of course he did not find one. When will sanity return to Nigeria? Please get some education!

  5. That money should not be released to this thiefing government,maybe when sanity returns to Nigeria.

  6. Thank God…… But our fear is where will the money go again,is it not to finiance our enemy of peace

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