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Switzerland To Return $321 Million Abacha Loot To Nigeria

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After what seems like forever and ending negotiation with Switzerland, the Swiss government has finally agreed to return $320m allegedly stolen by the former military ruler, Sani Abacha to the Nigerian government.

Switzerland froze the money in 2014 after the son of the military ruler instituted legal proceedings.

Originally deposited in Luxembourg, $321m is a fraction of the billions of dollars allegedly looted during his rule of Abacha from 1993 to 1998.

The agreement to release the money was signed in March but legal complications and implications involving Nigeria, the World Bank, Switzerland and the US have prevented the return of the money.

However, on Monday, Switzerland announced that the battle was over and that the money will finally be returned. “The fight against corruption is one of Switzerland’s priorities,” Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter said, adding that the move should “strengthen social security for the poorest Nigerians”, AFP reports.

The date when the money will be returned has not been disclosed but it says the World Bank must be involved in how the money is spent to ensure it was used “for the benefit of the Nigerian people”.

 

 

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Akin Akingbala is an international journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria. Aside being happily married, he has interests in music, sports and loves traveling.

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