The administrations of former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Muhammadu Buhari got the bigger share of the repatriated funds from the former head of state, General Sani Abacha. While $2 billion was recovered during Obasanjo, Buhari secured the repatriation of $1.3 billion.
Over $4 billion from the looted fund by the former military head of state has so far been repatriated back to Nigeria in the last 25 years.
Abacha was the Nigerian military leader between 1993 and 1998. Nigeria has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars heaped abroad reportedly looted by him.
In the last couple of weeks, (November 4), French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, announced that France would be returning another $150 million from the funds, making it $4.4 billion recovered.
Colonna disclosed in Abuja that she has informed President Bola Tinubu about the planned return of the seized fund.
She said the repatriation followed the completion of legal processes.
The money started getting back to the country in 1998 with $750 million repatriated when General Abdulsalami Abubakar was the head of state. His successor, Obasanjo witnessed the repatriation of $2 billion.
During Goodluck Jonathan, $227 million was recovered while the Buhari administration was able to secure the repatriation of $1.3 billion.
According to Colonna, the stolen fund would be returned to the country in the form of a grant and discussions would soon be opened with the Nigerian government on the areas to invest the fund.
Meanwhile, a court judgment on July 3, directed President Tinubu to disclose the exact amount of money looted by the former head of state, the total amount repatriated so far and how it was spent, including funds recovered by former presidents.
In addition, the Global Coalition for Security and Democracy (GCSDN) pleaded with the French President, Emmanuel Macron, not to transfer the $150 million in cash to President Tinubu-led government.
The coalition in a letter to Catherine Colonna noted that the Nigerian government had refused to give a detailed account of the previously returned and how they were spent.
GCSDN stressed that there are strong indications that some of the repatriated funds were re-looted and that the $150 million intended to be returned will also be re-looted.