Swiss Govt Finally Agrees To Return $321 Million Abacha Loot
06 Décembre, 2017, 00:35 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
Following a deal signed between the Swiss government and the World Bank, Switzerland is to return approximately $321 million in seized assets to Nigeria, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
Isah said the modalities for the return of the stolen funds are set out in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed by the three parties at the Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) now ongoing in the United States.
The memorandum of understanding was signed by the Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami, with Switzerland and the World Bank.
It added that Malami expressed gratitude for the support of the worldwide community to the fight against corruption.
"Nigeria will also use the opportunity of the GFAR meeting at the headquarters of the International Finance Corporation in Washington DC to negotiate the return of other assets and also engage in bilateral meetings with several other countries".
Global collaboration, he said was critical to the success of the fight. We will continue to work to deepen mechanisms not just for asset recovery but for preventing corruption in the first place.
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Fighting corruption through institution-building, entrenching safeguards, and global collaboration would continue to be a priority for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Abba Abacha was incarcerated for over 500 days and in 2006 Luxembourg ordered the funds held by him to be frozen.
When returned, the money is expected to be expended on social protection programme in Nigeria.
"The signing of this MoU gives Nigeria visibility and will set precedence on the need for transparent management of returned assets internationally".
"It is important to note that the funds will be used exclusively for social investment for the poor in Nigeria by way of cash transfers to enable them to start small businesses and provide them with a source of livelihood".
It explained that in 2014, Nigeria and the Abacha family reached an agreement for the Nigerian government to get back the funds, which had been frozen, in return for dropping a complaint against the former military ruler's son, Abba Abacha. "This is one of the most innovative agreements towards returning stolen funds to the Nigerian people", a World Bank spokesperson said.
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