Aside the $321 million Abacha loot expected from Switzerland, Nigeria is still fighting for recovery of another tranche of stolen money, estimated at about $2.5 billion, in foreign banks.
This was disclosed by an official of the EFCC, shortly after Nigeria signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), with Switzerland, to retrieve money banked in Swizz banks by corrupt Nigerian public officials.
The new funds are said to be scattered in banks across Europe and the United States, which are still under security watch.
But while signing the MoU, in Abuja at the weekend, the Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Eric Mayoraz, said his country had, in 2005, returned $722 million as the first batch, adding that with the agreement, the era of linking Nigeria’s stolen funds with the country had become a thing of the past.
The envoy added that the MoU will help remove all legal bottlenecks leading to the process of returning any illegal funds traced to Switzerland.
“Our countries enjoy excellent relations and we co-operate as partners in many fields, on the return of looted assets, migration, human rights, humanitarian assistance and many others,” he said.
It is further speculated that more than $2 billion was allegedly starched out of the country by the late dictator between 1995 to 98.
Foreign sources say more than 60 percent of stolen funds fromNigeria and other developing countries are traceable to Switzerland, mainly because of its liberal banking policy, which allows foreign nationals easy access to the system.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hajia Abba Ibrahim, in her remark, revealed that the agreement would help block accounts of funds linked to money laundering and other transnational crimes.
Join the conversation
INVESTIGATION: Inside UNILAG’s multi-million naira budgetary abuse and academic discord
The University of Lagos located in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, has been embroiled in controversies with allegations bothering on misappropriation of...
SPECIAL REPORT: Displaced residents of Zamfara battle hunger, as underfunding derails Nigeria’s nutrition goals
On paper, Muhammad Zayyanu is seven years old. The quiet boy who looks shorter for his age could not recollect...
INVESTIGATION: N7.3bn paid for unnamed projects; how Nigerian govt spent N2.2trn in six months
Analysing nearly 3,000 payments made by various Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) over the previous six months (January...
INVESTIGATION… Delay rocks Nigerian govt’s promise of N30,000 covid-19 relief for artisans, others
Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in February, 2020, Chukwudi Okoroigwe’s daily earnings as a bus driver was hardly enough to cater to the...
INVESTIGATION… Ten years after, communities count losses as AfDB, Cross River govt abandon road project
Ten years after the Cross River State government and African Development Bank (AFDB) jointly awarded the Yahe-Wanokom-Wanikade-Benue border road for...