- Switzerland set to repatriate $321m Former Military President, Sani Abacha’s loot
The Switzerland government has disclosed that it would soon return the sum of $321m former Head of State General Sanni Abacha kept in their country.
Switzerland said it was part of its commitment towards fighting money laundering and other trans-national crimes. The Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Eric Mayoraz, made the disclosure, during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Legal Assistance on criminal matters, between the Swiss government and the Federal Government of Nigeria in Abuja.
The Ambassador who stated that the MoU is aimed at fostering understanding between the two countries particularly as it relates to their different legal systems said, “we are now in the process of repatriating $321m from the second batch of the Abacha loot”, adding that the country had in 2005 repatriated $722m in the first batch. Mayoraz noted that the event was significant in the sense that it would eradicate every bottleneck associated with the repatriation of stolen funds starched in his country.
“Our countries enjoy excellent relations and we cooperate as partners in many fields, on the return of looted assets, migration, human rights, humanitarian assistance and many others.
“Today, we decide to take this cooperation forward to deepen it in the field of judicial cooperation. By signing a Memorandum of Understanding in this important area, our two States further strengthen their ties of friendship and cooperation”, he said. In her remarks, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hajia Abba Ibrahim, said that the idea of signing the MoU was first muted in 2015 stated and that the agreement would help block accounts of funds linked to money laundering and other trans-national crimes.
Ibrahim commended the Swiss government in supporting Nigeria’s fight against corruption, noting that repatriated funds can help facilitate essential development in Nigeria.