With the successful repatriation to Nigeria of over $1 billion stashed away by late Nigerian head of state in Switzerland, there is no more Abacha loot left in that country.
The Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Eric Mayoraz, made the declaration at a ceremony hosted by the embassy to examine asset recovery efforts between Nigeria and Switzerland using the ‘Abacha loot’ as a focus.
The envoy disclosed that Switzerland had earlier returned $752 million, which the late 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.
Ambassador Mayoraz announced that with new legislations already put in place in his country, it would be impossible to steal Nigeria’s money and stash it away in any part of Switzerland.
“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,” Mayoraz said.
“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,” the ambassador added.
The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, admitted the receipt of the last tranche of $321 million of the Abacha loot from the Swiss Government, adding that it had been domiciled with the Nigerian apex bank for the purpose of using it to empower the poor and vulnerable in Nigeria.
The minister, who was represented by the Special Assistant to the President on Justice Reforms, Mrs. Juliet Ibebaku-Nwagwu, 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.
The minister explained that necessary processes as stipulated by the World Bank and other organisations as conditions for drawing down the Abacha loot from Switzerland are being strictly implemented to ensure transparency and accountability in the use of the cash.
He said that although the process of drawing down the money from the Swiss Government was not smooth, President Buhari insisted all the same that all the processes stipulated must be adhered to and a central agency put in place to recover the money and put mechanism in place for managing the funds.
The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, who was represented by Linda Ekeator, Manager Legal, National Social Investments Office, said that the cash transfer scheme had been set up in no fewer than 19 states of the federation and that more states would soon join the scheme.
According to her, over 270,000 households had been captured under the scheme while the transfer of the $321 Abacha loot to beneficiaries of the programme would start in July.
A member of Civil Society groups, working with the Swiss and Nigerian governments to monitor the return and use of the Abacha loot, and Executive Director of Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, Rev. David Ugolor, said that civil society groups would ensure that the looted funds are properly accounted for, promptly returned to Nigeria and effectively managed and utilised for the overall best interest of Nigerians who are the victims of corruption.
JUST IN: Amaechi’s Chief Security Officer Dies Of Electric Shock In Kaduna
Mr. Tony Iwelu, the CSO to the Minister for Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, died of electric shock from a shower hose in his hotel room in Kaduna on Monday February 17, 2020, at about 10:30 AM.
Iwelu had travelled with the Minister to Kaduna to felicitate with Governor Nasiru Elrufai on his birthday when the fatal shock happened.
An aide to the Minister confirmed the death under condition of anonymity as no official statement has been issued, Daily Trust reports.
BREAKING: Supreme Court Adjourns Review Of Imo Judgement
The Supreme Court has adjourned hearing till March 2, in the application by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and sacked Imo Governor, Emeka Ihedioha
The PDP and Ihedioha are, by the application, praying the court to, among others, reverse its judgment on January 14 this, which sacked Ihedioha and replaced him with Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
At the mention of the case on Tuesday, Ihedioha’s lead lawyer, Kanu Agabi sought for time to enable parties file the necessary papers, a request other lawyers in the case did not object to.
A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, in a brief ruling, granted the request for adjournment and adjourned till March 2, 2020.
Military Personnel Accompanied Herdsmen Who Killed 8 Persons In Delta — Gov Okowa
Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, says military personnel accompanied suspected herdsmen who wreaked havoc on some communities in the state last week.
Gunmen had attacked Avwon, Agadama, Ohoror and other communities in Uwheru Kingdom, Ughelli North local government areas of the state on Thursday.
The attacks led to the deaths of at least eight persons while several others sustained injuries.
Okowa, who described the attacks as mindless, called on security agencies to bring the perpetrators to book.
“The unwarranted attacks and killing of innocent locals in Avwon, Agadama and Ohoror communities of Uwheru Kingdom in Ughelli North Local Government Area and the wickedness of suspected herdsmen alleged to be aided and abetted by unidentified military personnel are mindless,” Okowa said.
“I, however, appeal to the affected communities to remain calm and peaceful. I commiserate with the communities and families on the unfortunate loss of their loved ones.
“I have directed the Commissioner of Police and the Brigade Commander, 63 Brigade, Nigerian Army, to rise to the occasion and bring the culprits to justice.
“As a state, our people have been very receptive to herdsmen and other visitors, but our hospitality and welcoming disposition should not be taken as an act of cowardice.
“The state government will continue to encourage peaceful and harmonious relations between Deltans and their visitors but will not watch outsiders attack and kill our people any longer.”