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S’Africa befriends Buhari, to return $15m arms cash

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In September last year, there was controversy surrounding $15m in cash seized by the South African authorities, from some Nigerians which was purported for the purchase of arms to fight the Boko Haram insurgents.

The money which was seized in two batches of $5.7m and $9.3m also involved a prominent Nigerian cleric, and almost caused a diplomatic row between the two countries.

Well, reports say South Africa is considering returning the money to Nigeria.

A South African newspaper, The Mail & Guardian, reported on Friday that South Africa had begun to work out the process of returning the money.

According to the newspaper, the effort of South Africa is aimed at starting on a clean slate with Nigerian President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari.

The South African government, according to the reports, wanted to use the money to extend an olive branch to Buhari’s government and mend relations between the two countries, which had become strained.

It quoted a South African government source as saying, “The positive thing about [Buhari] is that one of the people who supported him is Atiku Abubakar. That makes him our man and he will automatically work well with [President Jacob] Zuma.”

According to the newspaper, Atiku is a close associate of Zuma. They got close at a time when both men were vice presidents.

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