Nigeria in Talks to Get Fresh $321m Abacha Loot From Switzerland
Representatives of the Switzerland government led by its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Didier Burkhalter, will today meet with the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.
The essence of the meeting is to deliberate on the repatriation of $321m loot by former Military Head of State, Sani Abacha which was seized by the Swiss government.
Confirming the meeting to Premium Times, an official of the Switzerland embassy in Nigeria, Pascal Holliger said, “Yes, our foreign Minister is on his way to Nigeria on Tuesday.
“He is coming on a working visit to Nigeria. During the visit, he would open the Consular General’s office in Lagos and meet with the Vice President of Nigeria and the Minister of Foreign Affairs to discuss the issue of the repatriation of the second tranche of the Abacha loot.”
The newspaper reports that eight civil society groups and anti-corruption groups, on hearing of the scheduled meeting between the two countries petitioned President Muhammdu Buhari, asking that the returned loot be put to good use.
The petition, titled: “Restitution of Abacha funds: Swiss and Nigerian NGOs demand guarantees,” was signed by representatives of the eight civil society groups and forwarded to the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, Minister of foreign affairs Geoffrey Onyeama, and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
It reads, “Swiss and Nigerian NGOs demand that the authorities of these two countries, together with the World Bank, take all measures necessary to guarantee that these funds be returned in a manner that is transparent and benefits the general population of the country, the people that were initially cheated out of their money.”
The petition pointed out that the agreement between Nigerian government and the Abacha family in 2014, that no member of the family will be criminally prosecute if the money was returned is fearful.