Nigerian government to pay Switzerland $79m commission on Abacha loot


There are indications that the Federal Government of Nigeria has resolved to pay the Government of Switzerland $79m (N25.2bn) commission for the recovery of almost $400m (N128bn) from the family of the late dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha.

The Chairman of the Civil Society Network Against Corruption, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraj, made this disclosure during a seminar to commemorate the 2016 International Anti-Corruption Day in Abuja yesterday.

Recall that the Presidency has also disclosed that it will commence discussion with the United States government on the repatriation of the $480m loot stashed in American banks by former Military Head of State, late Gen Sani Abacha soon.

Suraj, who was a member of a panel of discussants, said the original figure that was meant to be returned to Nigeria was about $400m, adding that the current government had secretly agreed to forfeit $79m as part of negotiations.

He said, “Unfortunately, the government goes to beg countries to get our money back rather than making demands, we appeal for the money and beg them to return it. We are fed with half information such that we even assume that we actually recover the amount stolen.

“I had a very funny experience and it is still ongoing. The $321m that the Swiss Government is meant to return to Nigeria, we discovered three weeks ago that the original money was about $400m. The legal process in Switzerland actually charged the Nigerian Government about $79m and that is why we are receiving $321m.

“The $321m is now to be returned to Nigeria with the condition that the World Bank will monitor how the funds will be spent. I cannot imagine anything more insulting.”

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