Wednesday, May 12

ABACHA LOOT: FG Says no Plans to Pay Swiss Govt $79m Commission

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The federal government has said it has no agreement with the government of Switzerland to retain $79 million as commission from the loot of late General Sani Abacha.

Mr. Festus Akanbi, Special Adviser, Media, to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who stated this in reaction to reports to that effect, said discussions for repatriation of the stolen funds did not include proviso for any form of commission.

It would be recalled that Chairman of the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), Mr. Olanrewaju Suraj, had claimed that the Nigerian government had accepted to pay Switzerland $79 million to repatriate about $400m recovered from late Gen. Abacha’s family to Nigeria.

He said at a seminar in Abuja, commemorating the 2016 International Anti-Corruption Day, that the amount is said to be one of the conditions given by the Swiss government to remove the funds back to Nigeria.

Last July, the Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Eric Mayoraz, had during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Legal Assistance on criminal matters, between the Swiss government and the Federal Government of Nigeria in Abuja, disclosed that his country would return $321 million to Nigeria.

But Suraj claimed, the amount due to Nigeria is $400 million.

However, Akanbi said, “The Minister of Finance clarified that the amount payable to Nigeria from Switzerland is $321 million, and is being returned to Nigeria for projects which are subject to verification by the World Bank. The recovery process is ongoing with the Swiss authorities and the World Bank has agreed to undertake the required verification.

“She stated that there is no deduction of $79 million as suggested in the report which is both ‘misleading and inaccurate’. She assured that recovery will be made in full and that there is no commitment or requirement to pay any commission.”


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