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FG concludes negotiation with Swiss govt on restitution of $321 million Abacha loot

Federal government said that negotiation with Switzerland on the return of 321 million dollars recovered from the late Abacha family had been concluded.

Also ,the Federal government further informed that Nigeria has just recovered the sum of 85 million dollars on the Malabu restrained funds from UK.

Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice gave the information, even as he urged international community to make further commitments and walk the talk on repatriation of stolen funds in the stashed away in foreign countries.

‎Malami the call at the pre-consultative Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) in Abuja on Thursday.

The theme of the forum was Building an Enduring Framework for Asset Recovery in Nigeria.
The forum provides a platform for Nigerian anti-corruption agencies, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders to discuss and reach a common understanding on issues ahead of the global conference.
The GFAR was established as an outcome of the London 2016 Anti –Corruption Summit,which was hosted by former British Prime Minister Davoid Cameron.
The inaugural forum will be held in Washington DC from December 4 to 6.

Read Also: Carrington foretold my arrest, incarceration by Abacha in 1995 – Obasanjo

Its inaugural meeting will focus on assistance to four priority countries of Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Ukraine.
Malami said the call became necessary given the fact that Nigeria’s funds meant for development of infrastructure in education, health, and security sectors have been gradually stolen and laundered in different parts of the world.

Malami said “I wish to use this forum to reiterate the need for the international community to ensure the implementation of the measures considered and adopted at the London Anti-Corruption Summit in May, 2016.”

He listed the measures to include easeing the legal technicalities and procedures associated with recovery and repatriation of stolen funds.

Reducing opportunities and incentives that enable stolen funds to be placed in banks, or laundered through property acquisition and investment in offshore locations.

Sharing information and intelligence on the movement of stolen funds and assets promptly and providing information on beneficial owners of corporate bodies.

He, however, said that President Muhammadu Buhari in May, 2015 had made a commitment to tackle corruption and focused on the return of stolen assets from various jurisdictions.

He said that Nigeria had implemented the United Nations convention against corruption requirement through the development of national strategy on anti-corruption.

Malami said “We are currently reviewing our anti-corruption laws, and the government has signed the open government partnership initiative and completed the national Action Plan for its practical implementation in Nigeria.

“This action plan is also proposed to be launched by President very soon.”

According to him, the recovery and repatriation of the stolenfunds stashed abroad continued to be very tedious despite several bilateral and multilateral agreements entered into between Nigeria and other jurisdictions.

He, however, said the ministry had has also initiated necessary machineries to hold bilateral talks with countries of interest during the up coming global forum on asset recovery.

He also said that Nigeria has just recovered the sum of 85 million dollars on the Malabu restrained funds from UK.

The Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria , Eric Mayooraz, confirmed further to the forum that the drafting of Memorandaum of Understanding (MOU) on return of Abacha Loot has been completed.


Also, David Ugolor, Executive Secretary, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) also urgedinternational community to walk the talk by fulfilling some of the commitments made at the London anti corruption summit.

He said that the fulfilment of the commitment has direct implication for the anti corruption crusade in Nigeria, adding that UK commited to establishing a public register of company beneficial ownership information for foreign companies.

He also said that the United States committed to rigorously to identify, trace and ultimately recover assets related to the proceeds of corruption and returning of the proceeds for the benefit of the people.

Ugolor also said that there was the urgent need for the anti- corruption agencies in Nigeria to strengthen its legal and institutional anti- corruption system through introduction of innovative legislative agenda.

 

HARRISON EDEH, ABUJA