Switzerland, Nigeria sign pact for return of stolen cash

Money looted by Sani Abacha in 1990s to be returned by Switzerland with Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari vowed to recoverr what he said were "mind-boggling" sums of money stolen over decades.

Switzerland, Nigeria sign pact for return of stolen cash

World Bulletin / News Desk

Nigeria and Switzerland on Tuesday agreed the return of $321 million stolen by former dictator Sani Abacha in the 1990s, the Nigerian vice president said.

Abacha, who ruled Nigeria from 1993 until his death in 1998, is believed to have plundered $4.3 billion while in power and to have hidden most of it abroad.

Although around $2.3 billion was returned during the presidencies of Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, it was the first time President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has received Abacha loot from Europe.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo welcomed the agreement with the Swiss government. “Under the agreement, the Swiss government will 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,” a statement said.

Switzerland relaxed banking secrecy regulations to return the Abacha cash following a number of court rulings.

Abacha, a brutal dictator accused of abuses including the 1995 hanging of writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other dissidents, plundered his country during his five-year rule. His wife Maryam was caught trying to flee the country with 38 suitcases stuffed with cash after his death.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Mart 2016, 10:27