Nigeria, Switzerland agree deal on Abacha's $321million loot

Doris Richards
December 5, 2017

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.

Now Switzerland, Nigeria and the World Bank have agreed the funds will be repatriated via a project supported and overseen by the World Bank, the Swiss government said.

Although an agreement to repatriate the money was signed in March, the Nigerian Ministry of Justice, the World Bank and lawyers from Switzerland and the USA have been grappling with legal complications surrounding the return of the money, says the BBC's Stephanie Hegarty in Abuja.

The money, originally deposited in Luxembourg, was confiscated by a Swiss court in late 2014 and in March previous year the two states signed an agreement on its repatriation. The return of the looted funds is in line with Switzerland's policy of returning illegally-acquired assets.

He stated, "The MOU stipulates that the restitution of funds will take place within the framework of a project known as the National Social Investment Program that will strengthen social security for the poor in Nigeria".

"The MOU also regulates the disbursement of restituted funds in tranches and sets out concrete measures to be taken in the event of misuse or corruption".

Civil Society Organisations are expected to monitor the use of the funds when returned and were largely part of the negotiation process.

Recoveries have been made since Nigeria's return to democracy in 1999.

The delegation is expected to return to Nigeria Thursday.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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