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Nigeria Signs MOU With Switzerland For Refund Of $321m Abacha’a Loot

Photo: Nigeria’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Mr. Abubakar Malami

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Nigeria has signed a Memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Switzerland for the return of the sum of $321m looted funds to Nigeria.

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation AGF, Mr. Abubakar Malami, signed the MOU with Swiss authorities Monday in Zurich.

Malami expressed gratitude for the international support Nigeria was getting in her fight against corruption. He declared that global collaboration was critical to the success of the crusade.

The Minister according to NAN assured Nigeria ”will continue to work to deepen mechanisms not just for asset recovery but for preventing corruption in the first place.”

He explained that Nigeria was one of the four countries being prioritized for Asset Recovery assistance at the maiden edition of the Global Forum on Assets Recovery holding in the U.S.

He observed that fighting corruption through institution-building, entrenching safeguards and global collaboration would continue to be a priority for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

It would be recalled that a corruption watchdog agency, Transparency International, reported that late Military Head of State, Gen Sani Abacha stole up to $5 billion of public fund during his five years in power – from 1993 until his death in 1998.

In 2014, Nigeria and the Abacha family reached an agreement for the Nigeria to get back the funds, which had been frozen, in return for dropping a complaint against the former military ruler’s son, Abba Abacha.

The son was charged by a Swiss court with money-laundering, fraud and forgery in April 2005, after being extradited from Germany, and later spent 561 days in custody.

In 2006, Luxembourg ordered that the funds held by the younger Abacha be frozen.

Presently, Switzerland, Nigeria and the World Bank, according to the Swiss government have agreed that the funds will be repatriated via a project supported and supervised by the World Bank.

The project will strengthen social security for the poorest sections of the Nigerian population. The agreement also regulates the disbursement of the stolen funds in tranches and sets out concrete measures to be taken in the event of misuse or corruption.

 

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