Abacha Loot: Switzerland To Return N76bn To Nigeria

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Switzerland will return to Nigeria some $380 million (about N76 billion) linked to ex-dictator Sani Abacha to Nigeria, Geneva’s public prosecutor said Tuesday, adding that it was closing a 16-year case on the funds.

Abacha was Nigeria’s head of state from 1993 until he died in 1998. While the economy grew under his rule, he looted government funds and was criticised over his human rights abuses.

The decision to return the funds came after a July 2014 deal between Nigeria and the Abacha family. Under the agreement, the funds would be confiscated and returned to Nigeria, while Abuja would drop its case against the deceased dictator’s son Abba Abacha.

According to a statement by the Geneva prosecutors’ office, the loot had been placed in several accounts abroad that were controlled by the Abacha family, which is considered a criminal organisation.

Reports say that the money was seized in 2006 in Luxembourg, under orders from the Swiss authorities.

Apart from the $380 million, the Abacha family had also kept about $500 million in Swiss banks which have already been returned to Nigeria.

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

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