06/19/2014 01:22 EDT | Updated 08/19/2014 05:59 EDT

Liechtenstein giving Nigeria $227 million in funds looted by dictator; son freed of charges

LAGOS, Nigeria - Nigeria says Liechtenstein is returning $227 million in funds looted by a military dictator, the day after it dropped corruption charges against his eldest son.

Rights groups called the government action "a celebration of corruption."

The government said Thursday it dropped charges against Mohammed Abacha in a deal to allow the return of the Liechtenstein money.

Mohammed Abacha is wanted in the United States for his alleged part in laundering some $458 million in funds stolen by his father, the late Gen. Sani Abacha, and frozen by the U.S. in February.

Swiss and Nigerian advocacy groups say $250 million of corrupt proceeds already returned by Switzerland cannot be accounted for in a country steeped in corruption.

Abacha died in 1998 and is believed to have stolen up to $5 billion.