Nigeria and Switzerland on Tuesday announced an agreement to return $321 million (N64 billion) in public funds stolen by the former military ruler Sani Abacha.
The agreement came after a meeting in Abuja between Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and a Swiss delegation including the country’s foreign minister and ambassador.
Both countries said the “letter of intent” to return the money provided a framework to help recover other looted funds by corrupt officials and to determine how it would be spent once repatriated.
“We guarantee that recovered assets would be put to uses for which they have been intended,” Osinbajo said in a statement.
“The framework will guarantee that returned assets will be used in the interest of the people of this country.”
The head of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Didier Burkhalter, said Switzerland was the first country to have returned a share of Abacha’s ill-gotten wealth, estimated at $2.2 billion.
Ten years ago, some $720 million was returned to Nigeria, he said in a statement on the Swiss foreign affairs website.
The $321 million was initially deposited in Luxembourg but confiscated by a court in Geneva in December 2014.
Burkhalter said the fight against corruption was “one of Switzerland’s priorities” and the letter of intent “confirmed the principle of returning stolen assets monitored by the World Bank.
“This monitoring is a legal requirement to ensure that the funds can indeed be returned to Nigeria and used, as set out in the agreement, to support social programmes to assist the people of Nigeria,” he added.
Nigeria’s Communications Minister, Isa Pantami, Loses 13-year-old Daughter
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, has announced the loss of his 13-year-old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali.
The Minister took to his Twitter account on Monday night to announce this sad news.
Pantami stated that the funeral prayer for the deceased will be conducted in Abuja on Tuesday at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2.
The post by the minister announcing the incident reads; “Inna lil Laahi wa inna ilaiHi Rajiun! My 13-year old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali (Amal) passed away just a moment ago.
“Due to some necessities, funeral prayer tomorrow at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2, immediately after Zuhr prayer In sha Allah. May Allah forgive and be merciful to her.”
Inna lil Laahi wa inna ilaiHi Rajiun!
My 13-year old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali (Amal) passed away just a moment ago.
Due to some necessities, funeral prayer tomorrow at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2, immediately after Zuhr prayer in sha Allah. May Allah forgive & be Merciful to her.
— Isa Ali Pantami, PhD (@DrIsaPantami) November 23, 2020
Cult Violence: Wike Imposes Two-Week Curfew Around Okoro-Nu-Odu
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has imposed a 24-hour total curfew for two weeks on some parts of Port-Harcourt, the state capital.
The Governor made this known during a broadcast on Sunday where he noted that the curfew begins from Monday 23rd November 2020.
The statement noted that the upsurge noticed by the state government in cases of cult activities, other forms of violence, and killings is responsible for the curfew.
Wike in the statement declared that the entire area along and around the Okoro-nodu flyover up to a one-kilometre radius from Saint Emmanuel Anglican Church, Rumuokoro, extending to the Rumuodomaya Slaughter and Local Government daily market will be affected.
He added that no form of trading, human or vehicular movement is allowed in the affected areas until further notice.
Zamfara Governor Secures Release Of 11 Kidnapped Victims
Governor of Zamafara, Bello Matawalle has announced the release of 11 kidnapped victims.
According to reports, ten of the victims were male and a female from Bukkuyum Local Government Area.
Matawalle received the rescued kidnapped victims on Saturday night at the Government House in Gusau, the state capital.
The Commissioner of Security and Home Affairs, Abubakar Muhammed Dauran revealed that the victims were released without paying a ransom.
He stated they were released as a result of the peace initiative and stakeholders meeting summoned by Governor Matawalle with all critical stakeholders from Bukkuyum Local Government Area on Thursday.
Governor Matawalle assured that his administration will not rest on its oars until total peace is achieved in all parts of the state.
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