Nigeria recovers $580 million in stolen funds

Nigeria has in the past year recovered $580 million stolen from government coffers, the information minister said Saturday, as part of a fight against corruption instigated by President

Muhammadu Buhari
.

Buhari, who marks one year in office on Sunday, has embarked on a widespread anti-corruption campaign although his critics accuse him of a political witch hunt.

Dozens of politicians, former military top brass and other officials are currently on trial for corruption and money laundering running into hundreds of millions of dollars.

Information minister

Lai Mohammed
said in a statement that most of the recovered money was in foreign currency.

The statement did not disclose the identities of most of the individuals, companies or groups from whom funds and items were recovered or seized.

Mohammed said that Nigeria was still awaiting the return of hundreds of millions more, allegedly stashed in Britain, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

Nigeria has in recent months made legal and diplomatic contacts and agreements with a number of countries over the return of looted funds.

Non-cash recoveries have included farmland, buildings, vehicles and maritime vessels.

Four vehicles were recovered from the office of the former national security adviser, the statement said.

Buhari, in an address to the nation last week to mark the first anniversary of his administration, had promised to disclose the amount his government has recovered.