Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, has said the government of Switzerland is set to return in tranches the sum of $321m stolen from Nigeria and stashed in the European nation by the late former Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, and his family.

A statement by the AGF’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Salihu Isah, stated, on Tuesday, that this followed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding signed by Nigeria along with Switzerland and the World Bank in the United States of America on Monday.

 According to Isah, Malami, on behalf of Nigeria, signed the MoU alongside representatives of Switzerland and World Bank at the ongoing Global Forum on Asset Recovery in the US.

 Isah said the Director of the Directorate of International Law and head of the Swiss delegation to the GFAR, Roberto Balzaretti, signed the MoU on behalf of the government of Switzerland and the Country Director of the World Bank office in Abuja, Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud, signed on behalf the World Bank.

He explained that the MoU spelt out the modalities of returning the sum of $321m by Switzerland to Nigeria.

He said the funds would be returned to Nigeria in tranches under a project known as “the National Social Investment Programme” aimed at strengthening social security for the poor in Nigeria.

Isah added, “The MoU stipulates that the restitution of funds will take place within the framework of a project known as the National Social Investment Programme 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.

“The chosen solution for restitution is being undertaken by the three contracting parties as a partnership in line with the objectives of Switzerland’s strategy to freeze, confiscate and return the illicitly acquired assets of politically-exposed persons (asset recovery) which is based on the principles of transparency and accountability.”

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Switzerland to return $321m Abacha loot in tranches – AGF
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