Switzerland to return $321m Abacha loot

DOLLARISATIONThe Federal Government has welcomed moves by the Swiss government to refund Nigeria $321 million of the stolen funds stashed by the Abacha administration.

To this end, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami, has signed an agreement described as a “Letter of Intent” between the Swiss government and the Federal Government on the restitution of illegally-acquired assets forfeited in Switzerland.

Head of Swiss Embassy’s Foreign Affairs Department, Didier Burkhalter, signed on behalf of his country.

Under the pact, Switzerland is to award to Nigeria $321 million “of funds illicitly acquired by the Abacha family, initially deposited in Luxembourg and confiscated by the Judiciary of the Republic and Canton of Geneva pursuant to a Forfeiture order dated 11th December 2014.”
According to Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who spoke at the signing ceremony in Abuja, government was developing a framework that would aid the repatriation of stolen assets stashed abroad by successive regimes.

Osinbajo gave the hint during a meeting with a Swiss delegation led by the country’s Federal Councillor and Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Eric Mayoruz.

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