Magu says Swiss govt has returned over $1bn Abacha loot to Nigeria

Magu says Swiss govt has returned over $1bn Abacha loot to Nigeria

- The acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, details some of the successes recorded in the recovery of the Abacha loot and other stolen assets hidden in foreign countries

- Magu states that Nigeria signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with several countries which aided the recovery of the stolen assets kept abroad

- The EFCC boss listed other classes of recoveries made by the anti-graft agency to include whistleblowers cash recoveries, subsidy payment cash recoveries, third party cash recovery for NNPC, FIRS, NPA, AMCON and banks

The acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has disclosed that the Swiss government has returned about $1.040 billion looted by the late head of state, General Sani Abacha, and his family members to Nigeria since 1999.

Magu made the disclosure on Thursday, January 24, at a presentation at the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA), in Vienna, Austria, where he called for collaboration by law enforcement agencies to combat corruption, The Nation reports.

He said Nigeria had signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with several countries which has aided the recovery of stolen assets kept in foreign countries.

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“Successes recorded in recovery of stolen assets have been achieved through Memoranda of Understanding, (MoU) signed between Nigeria and several countries, including Switzerland, the United Kingdom (UK), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the United States (U.S.) in line with Article 57 paragraph 5 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, UNCAC,” Magu said.

“The UK government returned stolen funds to Nigeria in the cases of Dariye and Alamieyeseigha, with over five million pounds recovered from the former Bayelsa State governor in 2012.

“In the case of Joshua Dariye, a former Governor of Plateau State in Nigeria, the British government also returned £48,000 to Nigeria in fulfillment of the UK’s commitments under Chapter V of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

“In 1999, the Swiss authorities, pursuant to a request for mutual legal assistance, returned about $723m to Nigeria."

Magu stated that a tripartite MoU between the Swiss government, the World Bank and Nigerian government also led to the return of additional $320 million Abacha loot.

The EFCC boss listed other classes of recoveries made by the EFCC to include whistleblowers cash recoveries, subsidy payment cash recoveries, third party cash recovery for NNPC, FIRS, NPA, AMCON and banks.

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“In 2017, EFCC made a total recovery of N473, 065,195,977.50, $142,504,121.12, and most of the recoveries, were non-conviction based asset recovery," he said.

Magu listed some of them to include, real estates belonging to Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former petroleum minister and her associates; $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23,218,000 recovered in an apartment at Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos in 2017; $9,772,800 and £74,000 cash in Kaduna, belonging to Andrew Yakubu, a former Group General Manager of NNPC in 2017.

He said corruption is an impediment to sustainable development in Africa and called for more international collaboration and synergy on repatriation of stolen wealth.

Meanwhile, EFCC has started looking into the recently sacked executive secretary of (TETFund), Abdullahi Bichi Baffa, over allegations of corruption while he led the agency.

EFCC team is said to have assigned the task of investigating the merits of the petition it got about August 2018, from the Centre for Public Accountability (CPA), Daily Trust reports.

The team in its investigation might get to the stage where it invites Baffa and the petitioners over allegations of abuse of office and breaching TETfund establishment rules while in office.

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