Transparency International, the global anti-corruption movement, deplores the action taken by the government of Nigeria to drop corruption charges against Mohammed Abacha, son of the late president of Nigeria, General Sani Abacha and calls for their immediate reinstatement.
The government had accused Mohammed Abacha of receiving stolen property worth millions of dollars. The money is believed to have been stolen by his father when he was President. The Nigerian government had filed a nine-count charge against Mohammed.
"Allowing the theft of public funds to go unpunished sends the wrong message that those with powerful connections can act with impunity. The case should have been fully prosecuted and the government has not given adequate reasons for dropping the charges,” said Chantal Uwimana, Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa at Transparency International.
In his lifetime Gen. Abacha was investigated for corruption and human rights violations. Recently the United States government froze US$458 million in assets it claims he and co-conspirators stole from Nigeria. In separate legal proceedings, Liechtenstein agreed on June 18 to return US$224 million held by companies linked to Gen. Abacha.
Corruption is widespread in Nigeria and despite claims by the government to make tackling corruption a priority too few people have been held to account for a series of high profile scandals. At the same time about half of Nigerians live in poverty.
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