The Federal Government on Friday moved a step closer towards recovering funds stolen by former public office holders and stashed abroad as it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Switzerland on the repatriation of $321 million late Gen. Sani Abacha loot.
The pact also seeks to block accounts linked to stolen funds and stashed in the European nation’s banks.
This is the second batch of the stolen money linked to the late dictator after Switzerland repatriated $722m to Nigeria in 2005.
The Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Eric Mayoraz, hinted that both countries are now in the process of repatriating the looted $321 million.
The MoU, Mr. Mayoraz argued, will help remove all the legal bottlenecks in the fund repatriation.
The envoy spoke during the signing of MoU on Mutual Legal Assistance on criminal matters, between the Swiss government and its Nigerian counterpart in Abuja.
According to the envoy, Friday’s event is significant in the sense that it would eradicate every bottlenecks associated with the repatriation of stolen funds kept in his country.
The ambassador, who stated that the pact is aimed at fostering understanding between the two countries as it relates to their different legal systems, said, “We are now in the process of repatriating $321m from the second batch of the Abacha loot.
“Our countries enjoy excellent relations and we cooperate as partners in many fields, particularly on the return of looted assets, migration, human rights, humanitarian assistance and many others.
“Today, we decide to take this cooperation forward to deepen it in the field of judicial cooperation. By signing a Memorandum of Understanding in this important area, our two states further strengthen their ties of friendship and cooperation”.