The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami, Thursday, announced that the Federal Government had just recovered $85m Malabu fund from the United Kingdom (UK).
He spoke at the Agenda for Pre-Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) Consultative Meeting organised by the Mac Arthur Foundation and the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) in Abuja.
Malami also added that the Federal Government of Nigeria was concluding negotiation with that of Switzerland on the return of $331m recovered from the family of the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha.
According to him, the Civil Society Organisations will be involved in the monitoring of the utilization of the funds.
He stressed that with the conclusion of the negotiation, the different countries involved are to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the repatriation of the funds in the next few weeks.
The Minister said:“We are indeed concluding negotiation with Switzerland on the return of $331m recovered from the late Abacha family. I am pleased to inform that Civil Society Organisations were involved in the negotiation of the Memorandum of Understanding.
“Most importantly, the Civil Society Organisations 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.”
He recalled that Nigeria has implemented the United Nations Convention Against Corruption requirement through the development of National Strategy on Anti-Corruption.
The National Strategy on Ant-Corruption, according to Malami, was adopted by Nigeria and has been approved by the Federal Executive Council in July this year, which the President is expected to launch in due course.
He revealed that the Nigeria is currently reviewing its anti-corruption laws, noting that the Federal Government has signed government partnership initiative and completed the National Anti-Corruption national action plan with practical implementation in the country.
Malami noted that President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to launch the National Action Plan very soon.
He maintained that: “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.”
Even when the provision of the United Nations Convention against corruption obliged same, the minister said that, parties to facilitate the return of stolen assets between Nigeria and parties are facing several challenges.
He said that his office has held talks with office of interests during the global forum on asset recovery.
He said the countries include the United Kingdom, United State of America, Canada, Switzerland, South Africa, Panama, United Arab Emirates, Northern Ireland, Gambia and others.
The Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Eric Mayoroz said Switzerland and the government of Buhari are committed to fighting corruption.
He noted that his country changed its legislation in the last decade so that stolen money could not be deposited there.
The envoy said that his country’s law on money laundering is now the global model in the fight against the crime.