18 Mar 2015

Switzerland to return $380million Abacha loot to Nigeria

Geneva’s public prosecutor has said that Switzerland will return to Nigeria about $380 million linked to the former military leader, General Sani Abacha.

The decision to return the funds followed a July 2014 deal between Nigeria and the Abacha family.

Under the agreement, the funds would be confiscated and returned to Nigeria while the Federal Government would drop its case against the deceased dictator’s son, Abba Abacha.
Geneva prosecutors’ office said in a statement that the $380 million had been placed in several accounts abroad that were controlled by the Abacha family, which is considered a criminal organisation.

The money was seized in 2006 in Luxembourg, under orders from the Swiss authorities.

The Abacha family had also placed some $500 million in Swiss banks, though those funds had already been returned to Nigeria.

The $380 million will be returned under the World Bank’s supervision, said the prosecutor’s office.

The authorities have also decided to drop their case against Abba Abacha, which began in 1999.

In 2012, the dictator’s son was handed a one-year suspended prison sentence for participating in a criminal organisation.

Switzerland’s top court cancelled the sentence in May 2014, citing procedural reasons.

The Geneva prosecutor’s office on Tuesday said Abba Abacha had already been detained for 561 days from 2004 to 2006, without receiving compensation.

The Abacha affair began in 1999, when Nigeria asked the Swiss judicial authorities to help it recover $2.2 billion

Credit: Channels

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