Nigerian government has flayed Switzerland for being accessory to keeping Abacha loot and making the process of repatriation of the assets strenuous, describing the action by Swiss authorities as “daylight robbery.”
The Abacha loot refers to monies believed to have been stolen and stashed in countries and tax havens around the world by Sani Abacha, the late Head of State.
Switzerland recently agreed to repatriate a fresh $350 million as part of the Abacha loot in that country.
Geoffrey Onyeama, Foreign Affairs Minister said he was also shocked and angry by the chunk of the money retained by “institutions in Switzerland and lawyers.”
Onyeama spoke Tuesday at the opening of 2nd International Conference on Combating Illicit Financial Flows and Enhancing Asset Recovery for Sustainable Development.
The two-day event is organised by the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, in conjunction with other partners.
He accused countries receiving illicit finances of “condoning huge thefts”, describing them as “accessories” to such crimes.
“They are as guilty of theft as those who transferred the money in the first place. This is simply unacceptable and immoral,” he said.
The minister said developing countries could least afford illicit financial flows due to the impact on the economy.
In his keynote address, Abdalla Hamdok, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UNECA, appraised the means of illegal financial flows, while recommending measures to address the loopholes.
A total of 60 to 65 per cent of illegal financial flows in Africa are carried out by multinational companies, according to him.
Hamdok also listed other ways of illicit financial flows to include money laundering, drugs and human trafficking.
He said illicit financial flows remained one of the greatest development threats facing Africa, saying there was need for concerted effort to stamp it out.