Switzerland said it has returned all the money kept in the country by late Nigeria’s Head of State, General Sani Abacha, with $1.5 million interest.
Ambassador Pio Wennubst, the Assistant Director-General and Head, Global Cooperation
The Swiss envoy also said the money was returned to the Nigerian Government unconditionally.
He said: “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.”
According to Wennubst, these funds were part of the Nigerian Government contributions to the social safety net programme, “plus concessional loans from the Bank”.
NAN recalls that the “Abacha loot” was frozen in 2014 by a Swiss court after a legal procedure against his son, Abba Abacha.
Originally deposited in Luxembourg, the money was a fraction of the billions of dollars allegedly looted during his rule from 1993 to 1998.
Similarly, the UK Government also pledged its commitment to ensuring that money and other assets illegally transferred from Nigeria are repatriated back to the country.
Nick Dyer, Director General, Economic Development and International, UK Department for International Development, told NAN that assets return would contribute to the development of the origin countries.
Dyer said it was an important part of the development process to identify how and where assets were going astray and to also recover them and send them back.