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FG Determined to Recover €185m Abacha Loot

October 14, 2013

Despite the legal hurdles put in place by the government of Liechtenstein and the companies to prevent Nigeria from recovering the €185m illegally saved in the European country, the Federal Government has enlisted the services of the World Bank to recover the money.

The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said this in Washington DC, United States, on Sunday at a press conference as part of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank annual meetings.

She said the money was looted by the late maximum ruler late General Sani Abacha and taken to Liechtenstein through some companies registered in the Central European country.

However, she said efforts by the Federal Government to recover the looted fund in the last 14 years had been resisted by the government of Liechtenstein and the companies involved through several court cases.

Okonjo-Iweala said, “For 14 years, starting since the Presidency of President Olusegun Obasanjo, we have been pursuing this money in Liechtenstein and this is part of the legacy of the Abacha money taken out of the country. There have been several steps, we have had a lawyer who has been working on this case as well as other cases of lost Abacha money.”

“But the essence is that we have identified this money in Liechtenstein, €185m, through our lawyer, Mr. Monfreeny of Switzerland. He first started under President Obasanjo’s administration and now credit to President Goodluck Jonathan, he has been pursuing it in the last few years with the same lawyer.

“The Attorney-General of the Federation has also been working on this, in fact they were working before I joined and the idea is that there has been several legal steps and challenges that have been thrown in Liechtenstein courts against returning this money.”

According to the minister, Liechtenstein courts have given judgment and said the money should be returned to Nigeria.

Okonjo-Iweala said, “However, those companies have taken the case to the European Court of Human Rights.”
Source: Punch

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

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