The Switzerland government says it has returned all the money kept in the country by the late military dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, with $1.5 million interest.
The Assistant Director-General and Head, Global Cooperation Department, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Amb. Pio Wennubst, disclosed this in an interview with NAN in New York.
According to Wennubst, the Abacha loot was originally $321 million but after calculations with interest added, $322.51 million (N116.11 billion) was sent to the Federal Government in December 2017.
The Federal Government last week announced it had received $322.51 million Abacha loot from the Swiss government. The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, through her Special Adviser, Media and Communications, Oluyinka Akintunde, confirmed the receipt of money from the Switzerland government.
Akintunde in a statement said “ We state that $322,515,931.83 (N116,105,735,458.80) was received into a Special Account in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Dec. 18, 2017, from the Swiss government’’.
According to Wennubst “We returned 321 million dollars including the interests. We return all the amount, 322.5 million dollars including the interest for the time that the funds were blocked’’
The swiss official added that the money was released to the Nigerian Government unconditionally.
“We are not talking about the condition; there was a programme on the social safety net that was developed by the Government of Nigeria and the Bank.
After discussing, the only condition, set by the judiciary, not by us, was that the return of this asset should have been monitored by the World Bank and this is where we worked on ’’he said.
The former military leader had stashed the money in swiss banks while he was in power from 1993 to 1998. Upon his death, the loot was frozen in 2014 by a Swiss court after a legal procedure against his son, Abba Abacha.