Ibrahim Magu: Swiss government has returned $1 billion Abacha loot since 1999

Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says the agency will monitor campaign funds donated to political parties for the 2019 elections as well as donors’ identities.

Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says the Swiss government has returned about $1 billion Abacha loot to Nigeria since 1999.

Magu made the disclosure on Thursday while speaking at the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA) in Vienna, Austria.

Tony Orilade, EFCC’s acting head of media and publicity, quoted Magu as saying the anti-graft commission also recovered money from other corrupt public officials, as he called for more international collaboration on repatriation of stolen wealth.

“Successes recorded in recovery of stolen assets have been achieved through Memoranda of Understanding, (MoU) signed between Nigeria and several countries, including Switzerland, the United Kingdom (UK), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the United States (U.S.) in line with Article 57 paragraph 5 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, UNCAC,” the statement read.

“The UK government returned stolen funds to Nigeria in the cases of Dariye and Alamieyeseigha, with over five million pounds recovered from the former Bayelsa State governor in 2012.

“In the case of Joshua Dariye, a former Governor of Plateau State in Nigeria, the British government also returned £48,000 to Nigeria in fulfillment of the UK’s commitments under Chapter V of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

“In 1999, the Swiss authorities, pursuant to a request for mutual legal assistance, returned about $723m to Nigeria.

“A tripartite MoU between the Swiss government, the World Bank and Nigerian government also led to the return of additional $320 million Abacha loot.

“Other classes of recoveries made by the EFCC included whistleblowers cash recoveries, subsidy payment cash recoveries, third party cash recovery for NNPC, FIRS, NPA, AMCON and banks.

“In 2017, EFCC made a total recovery of N473, 065,195,977.50, $142,504,121.12, and most of the recoveries, were non-conviction based asset recovery.”

Magu listed some of them to include real estate belonging to Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former petroleum minister, and her associates; $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23,218,000 recovered in an apartment at Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos in 2017; $9,772,800 and £74,000 cash in Kaduna, belonging to Andrew Yakubu, a former group general manager of NNPC.

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