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Abacha Loot Adeosun reveals FG received $322.5m in December 2017

The sum of $322,515,931.83 was paid to the Central Bank of Nigeria on December 18, 2017.

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Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has revealed that the Federal Government has already received the sum of $322.5 million from Switzerland as part of funds stolen by former Head of State, Sani Abacha.

In a statement signed by the minister's aide, Oluyinka Akintunde, on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, the sum of $322,515,931.83 was received into a special account in the Central Bank of Nigeria on December 18, 2017.

Her statement was in response to media reports that she blocked the payment of $16.9 million to two Nigerian lawyers who had been appointed by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to duplicate the work of Swiss lawyerEnrico Monfrini, who had already been paid for the same job.

According to the reports, the minister had written a letter to the president to deny payment of the fee, an event she denied ever took place.

The statement read, "The attention of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has been drawn to false media reports of a 'strongly-worded letter to the President' objecting to the payment of $16.9 m fees to two lawyers for the recovery of Abacha funds.

"The minister wishes to dissociate herself and the Federal Ministry of Finance from recent malicious and misleading media reports on the Abacha refunds.

"The minister had at no time written any letter to the President or any member of the Federal Executive Council on the payment of lawyers for the Abacha recovery.

"She also refuted the flawed media reports of controversy surrounding the Abacha recovery, disclosing that the sum of $322,515,931.83 was received into a special account in the Central Bank of Nigeria on December 18, 2017 from the Swiss Government.

"For the avoidance of doubt, there is no controversy concerning the recovery of the Abacha monies from the Swiss Government."

The Federal Government had sought Monfrini's services in 2000 and he was pivotal to the tracing and recovery of the $322 million from Luxembourg before it was domiciled with the Attorney-General of Switzerland.

While the fund was not repatriated to Nigeria until former president, Goodluck Jonathan left power in 2015, AGF Malami and Swiss foreign minister, Didier Burkhalter, signed a letter of intent in March 2016 to ensure the restitution.

On November 1, 2017, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved a Memorandum of Understanding between Nigeria and Switzerland for the repatriation of the $322m stolen funds to the country.

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