FG recovers $85m Malabu loot from UK, expecting $331m from Switzerland-Malami
The Federal Government has recovered $85m from the controversial Malabu Oils fund from the United Kingdom (UK), the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami said in Abuja.
He also said that the government was also concluding negotiation with the Switzerland government on the return of $331m recovered from the family of the late Head of State General Sani Abacha.
He was speaking at the Pre-Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) Consultative meeting organized by the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), MacArthur Foundation and UKaid among other partners.
“I am also pleased to inform that Nigeria has just recovered the sum of $85million on the Malabu funds from UK. We are indeed concluding negotiation with Switzerland on the return of $331million recovered from the late Abacha family. I am pleased to inform that Civil Society Organizations were involved in the negotiation of the Memorandum of Understanding.
“Most importantly, the Civil Society Organizations will be involved in monitoring the use of funds. With the conclusion of negotiation, parties are to sign a Memorandum of Understanding at the global forum at Asset Recovery meeting and repatriation all follow within weeks as agreed by the parties,” Malami said.
While recalling that Nigeria has implemented the United Nations Convention Against Corruption requirement through the development of National Strategy on Anti-Corruption, he said the strategy was adopted after being approved by the Federal Executive Council in July this year, and that the President will soon formally launch it.
He said: “It is pertinent to state at this point that the repatriation of our stolen wealth need very tedious several bilateral agreements entered into between Nigeria and other jurisdictions.”
Also, the Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Eric Mayoroz said Switzerland and the administration of President Buhari are committed to fight against corruption.
He said that his country changed its legislation in the last decade so that stolen money could not be deposited there and that his country’s law on money laundering is now the global model in the fight against the crime.
He also said that Switzerland was the first country to return stolen funds to Nigeria from the western world after it recovered $22million from the late Abacha’s family.
“The Swiss Justice discovered that there were still other assets owned by the family in the country and it froze hundreds of million dollars deposited by the family in the banks. After an agreement was signed by the Swiss government and that government of Nigeria in 2014, the Swiss Attorney General in Geneva decided that the money about $320million should be given back to Nigeria.
He said that in June 2016, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo chose the projects to use the money on to include those that would benefit the poorest in the society and that it would be monitored by the World Bank.
He said that the Swiss government had insisted that measures must be taken to ensure that the money will not disappear again, and urged the civil society to play positive role in the matter.
The chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye said that Nigeria needs to agree on some framework for asset returning saying that foreign countries a zealous to return stolen assets yet very conservative about returning the money.
He said one should not criticize the position of the western world on asset return because previously returned ones were mismanaged or re-looted and that Nigeria is now trying to put that accusation behind it by developing a roadmap for future asset recovery.
He also said that government is using administrative framework for asset recovery where there was no legislative framework pending when such would be available and that handlers were careful such