Nigeria and Switzerland signed a memorandum of understanding on March 26, 2018 to pave the way for the return of illegally acquired assets…Switzerland said in December 2017 that it would return to Nigeria around $321 million in assets seized from the family of former military ruler Sani Abacha via a deal signed with the World Bank…[T]he memorandum of understanding was ratified between Nigeria, Switzerland and the International Development Association, (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the world’s poorest countries.
Excerpt from Nigeria and Switzerland sign agreement to return stolen assets, Reuters, Mar. 26, 2018
Authorities in Switzerland are in talks to arrange the return to Nigeria of $300 million confiscated from the family of its former military ruler, Sani Abacha, Nigeria’s foreign minister said. The corruption watchdog Transparency International has accused Abacha of stealing up to $5 billion of public money during his five years running the oil-rich nation, from 1993 until his death in 1998. Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said $700 million had already been repatriated from Switzerland, adding that he met Swiss representatives last week for further talks. “They have also now recovered, in the same context, another $300 million of which there is ongoing discussion to have that repatriated as well,” he told journalists on Monday.
In 2014, Nigeria and the Abacha family reached an agreement for the West African country to get back the funds, which had been frozen, in return for dropping a complaint against Abba Abacha, the son of the former military ruler. He was charged by a Swiss court with money-laundering, fraud and forgery in April 2005, after being extradited from Germany, and subsequently spent 561 days in custody. In 2006, Luxembourg ordered that funds held by the younger Abacha be frozen….He has asked the Britain and the United States for help recovering money stolen from Africa’s biggest economy by some of the country’s elite over several years.
Switzerland and Nigeria discuss return of $300 million stolen by Abacha, Reuters, Jan. 13, 2016
Geneva’s public prosecutor will send $380 million confiscated from the family of Nigeria’s former military ruler Sani Abacha to Nigeria and closed a 16-year investigation into his funds, the prosecutor’s office said. Abacha stole as much as $5 billion of public money during his five years running Africa’s top oil producing country from 1993 until his death in 1998, according to the corruption watchdog Transparency International.
The return of the $380 million follows an agreement between Nigeria and the Abacha family in July 2014, the prosecutor’s statement said. The agreement provides for Nigeria to receive the frozen funds in return for dropping a complaint against Abba Abacha, Sani’s son.He was charged by a Swiss court with money-laundering, fraud and forgery in April 2005, after being extradited from Germany, and subsequently spent 561 days in custody. In 2006 Switzerland ordered funds held by him in Luxembourg to be confiscated. The return of the funds is conditional on effective monitoring by the World Bank of how the funds are used.
Switzerland to return $380 million of Abacha’s loot to Nigeria, Reuters, Mar. 19, 2015