Nigeria To Partner Justice Departments of US, UK, UAE, Others To Recover Its Stolen Assets

Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama speaks during a meeting with his Russian counterpart in Moscow on May 30, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Alexander NEMENOV

The Nigeria ministry of justice is to work directly with justice departments of the United States (US), Switzerland, United Kingdom (UK), United Arab Emirate (UAE), Germany and a few other countries for the recovery of looted funds from the country.

Addressing State House correspondents, shortly after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs said the new strategy would help Nigeria identify and repatriating all stolen funds.

Nigeria has over the years engaged in diplomatic negotiations with the governments of the UK, Switzerland and the US, in an attempt to return monies stolen from Nigeria by rogue leaders but the calls had yielded no significant results.

But the foreign affairs minister said the new strategy will enhance the identification and recovery process of the stolen assets from Nigeria.

Asked to put a peg on the exact amount of money stolen from the country that Nigeria wants repatriated, Onyeama noted that it would be difficult to do so citing the sophistication and high secrecy involved in wire transfers.

Onyeama, who spoke also on President Muhammad Buhari’s “extremely successful” outing at the just concluded 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in New York, said the process of repatriation of stolen funds from some identified western nations was an ongoing process adding that with the direct engagement with the affected governments stolen assets from Nigeria were sure to be recovered soon.

Commenting on Buhari’s call for the constitution of a UN team to negotiate with North Korea, on the brewing nuclear crisis, the minister said the Nigerian government would also engage directly with members of the UN Security Council to ensure that the team is constituted speedily.

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