Abacha Loots: Switzerland To Return $321M Abacha Loot | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Abacha Loots: Switzerland To Return $321M Abacha Loot

Posted: Mar 9, 2016 at 10:54 am   /   by   /   comments (1)

Nigeria and Switzerland on Tuesday announced an agreement to return $321m in public funds stolen by the former military ruler Sani Abacha.
The agreement came after a meeting in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, between Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and a Swiss delegation including the country’s foreign minister and ambassador.
Both countries said the “letter of intent” to return the money provided a framework to help recover other looted funds by corrupt officials and to determine how it would be spent once repatriated.
Abacha, in power from 1993 until his death in 1998, is suspected of having siphoned off $2.2bn from Nigeria’s central bank in what the United States has called “brazen acts of kleptocracy”.
The head of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Didier Burkhalter, said Switzerland was the first country to have returned a share of Abacha’s ill-gotten wealth.
Ten years ago, some $720m was returned to Nigeria, he said in a statement on the Swiss foreign affairs website.
The $321m was initially deposited in Luxembourg but confiscated by a court in Geneva in December 2014.
Burkhalter said the fight against corruption was “one of Switzerland’s priorities” and the letter of intent “confirmed the principle of returning stolen assets monitored by the World Bank.