The Government of Switzerland has revealed that World Bank are behind the delay in the return of $321m looted by late Gen. Sani Abacha.
The Swiss Governemt said that the World Bank has to finalise the projects to be executed with the money by the Federal Government.
The Swiss government explained that a bilateral agreement for the restitution of the money would then be signed afterwards, which would form the basis for the transfer of the money.
According to a popular daily, the Deputy Head of Mission, Swiss embassy in Nigeria, Daniel Cavegn disclosed this in an email to inquiries about the time frame for the repatriation of the money.
He said, “Once the monitoring of the World Bank for the projects chosen by the Federal Government is finalised, we will proceed to a bilateral agreement for the restitution, which is the legal basis for the transfer of the money. The Swiss forfeiture order provides for a return of $321m to Nigeria and foresees a monitoring of the use of the funds by the World Bank.
“From the Swiss side, we are committed to begin the restitution of the money to Nigeria as soon as possible; we will proceed to a bilateral agreement for the restitution, which is the legal basis for the transfer of the money. It is difficult to currently give a time frame for the start of the restitution as the finalisation of the proceedings will still need time.”
“This letter of intent confirms that the use of the funds will be monitored by the World Bank as foreseen in the forfeiture order issued by the Public Prosecutor of the Canton of Geneva”.
Cavegn noted that the FG had submitted a series of possible projects for which the money repatriated could be used, adding that his country was waiting for details of the proposed projects.
“We are awaiting more details regarding the proposed projects and, in particular, how the monitoring of the World Bank would be assured,” he said.