The Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Eric Mayoraz, has said that with the repatriation to Nigeria of over $1 billion stashed by late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, in Switzerland, there was no more Abacha loot left in his country.
The Swiss ambassador made the declaration at a ceremony hosted by the mission to examine asset recovery efforts between Nigeria and Switzerland, using the ‘Abacha loot’ as a focus.
Mayoraz revealed that Switzerland had earlier returned $752 million, which the late military dictator and family hid away in Swiss banks to Nigeria and recently repatriated another $321 million, which is being domiciled in Nigeria’s Central Bank.
He stated that with new legislations already put in place in his country, it would be impossible to steal Nigeria’s money and take it to any part of Switzerland.
According to the Ambassador, “As a way out of what led to Abacha loot, we have signed a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with Nigeria and it is meant to enable us to track and expose those who want to bring in illicit wealth and prosecute them in accordance with the laws in place.
“It is to be made clear that the new laws in Switzerland do not allow for any stolen wealth to be kept in any place in the country.’’
On his part, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, confirmed receipt of the last tranche of $321 million of the Abacha loot from the Swiss Government, stating that it had been domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigerian for the purpose of using it to empower the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria.
Represented by the Special Assistant to the President on Justice Reforms, Mrs. Juliet Ibebaku-Nwagwu, the minister explained that Nigeria and the World Bank agreed to use the Abacha loot to fund the National Cash Transfer Scheme so that it could benefit the entire country since the money belongs to the whole country.