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Buhari Thanks Swiss Government For Returning $322.5m Of Abacha Loot |RN

                                      President Muhammadu Buhari

John Ameh, Abuja

 

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, expressed his gratitude to Switzerland for returning funds stolen by corrupt government officials to Nigeria.

He said Nigeria was “deeply grateful to Switzerland for its support in resuscitating the economy, especially the return of illegally stolen funds” and in helping to intervene in the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East.

While receiving letter of credence from the Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria, Mr George Steiner, at the Presidential Villa.

“We are grateful to the Swiss government for allowing the illegally stolen funds to be brought back to Nigeria,” a statement by Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, quoted the President as saying.

In his response, the ambassador told Buhari that Switzerland would continue to support Nigeria, especially to end the conflict and the plight of Internally Displaced Persons in the North-East.

Steiner added, “We have strong and solid relations with Nigeria.

“It is an honour and privilege for us to contribute to issues of importance in the country.”

Recall that after a long period of engagement and negotiations between the two countries, Switzerland returned $322.5m (or N116.1bn) Abacha loot to Nigeria in December, 2017.

The money came with an interest of $1.5m.

The original amount stashed away by Abacha was $321m.

Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, had confirmed the receipt of the stolen money by Nigeria.

“We state that $322,515,931.83 (N116,105,735,458.80) was received into a special account in the Central Bank of Nigeria on December 18, 2017, from the Swiss government,” the  Special Special Adviser, Media and Communications to the former minister, Mr  Oluyinka Akintunde, had said at the time.

Also speaking on the returned funds, Assistant Director-General and Head, Global Cooperation Department, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Ambassador Pio Wennubst, said the money was indeed returned.

“We returned $321, including the interest. We returned all the amount, $322.5m including the interest for the time that the funds were blocked”, the official added.

Meanwhile, Buhari also received letter of credence from the Ambassador of Belgium to Nigeria, Dr Daniel Dargent.   (Punch)

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Buhari’s Government, HSBC Engagment In Fight Gets Uglier |The Republican News

Buhari-Muhammadu

“We ask them (HSBC) to heed President Buhari’s constant refrain: return our stolen assets, then see how well we will do.”

• As EFCC allegedly traces $33.6m to 3 Nigerians’ accounts with bank

• You’re hypocrite, Atiku slams govt

Iheanacho Nwosu, Abuja

The Federal Government appears not to be taking lightly the alarm raised by the British multinational bank (HSBC), which predicted that re-electing President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 could further worsen Nigeria’s present economic situation.

Barely 48 hours after the presidency issued a statement, accusing the bank of aiding the collapse of Nigeria’s economy in the past by conniving with past Nigeria’s leaders to loot the country’s resources blind, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, took a swipe at the bank, accusing it of engaging in money laundering.

But former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, came hard on the government for attacking the bank, just because it gave a verdict that Buhari’s re-election for another term would spell doom for the country’s economy.

The EFCC in a statement it posted on its Instagram page noted that the international bank “is one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world. HSBC’s international network comprises around 7,500 offices in over 80 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa.

“Since inception, HSBC is synonymous with money laundering and has paid billions of US Dollars in fines across the world. In Nigeria, the bank laundered more than $100 million for the late dictator, Gen Sani Abacha in Jersey, Paris, London, Switzerland and Geneva. The bank is also involved with laundering proceeds of corruption for over 50 Nigerians including a Nigerian serving Senator.

“Part of Abacha Assets yet to be recovered are: $12 million in HSBC Fund Admin Ltd with account number S-104460 in Jersey; $20 million in HSBC Life (Europe) with account number 37060762 in U.K and $1. 6 million in HSBC Bank plc with account number 38175076 in U. K.”

The presidency had in a statement signed by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, last week alleged that one of the things that helped to destroy Nigeria’s economy in the past was the connivance of HSBC with some Nigerians to loot Nigeria’s money, adding that “rather, we ask them (HSBC) to heed President Buhari’s constant refrain: return our stolen assets, then see how well we will do.”

 

Reacting to the government’s outburst, Atiku, whose position was conveyed by his Presidential Campaign Organisation, yesterday, said he was amused when he read the statement that emanated from the presidency.

He added that, “It is at once comical and pathetic that the Buhari government’s statement called HSBC corrupt. It seems they are unaware that some of the record 12 trillion worth of debt which the Buhari administration has saddled Nigeria with is actually funded from HSBC, which is the world’s largest bank.

“When they were taking their money, the ever begging Buhari administration did not know that HSBC was corrupt. It was after the HSBC told the truth about the Buhari government that they knew that the HSBC is keeping looted funds.

 

“In their statement, the presidency called HSBC ‘a bank that soiled its hand with millions of US dollars yet-to-be-recovered Abacha loot.’ They forgot that their principal, Muhammadu Buhari said ‘Abacha did not steal.’ So if Abacha did not steal, how could HSBC keep recovered Abacha loot? When you tell so many lies, you begin to contradict yourself,” Atiku said.

He reminded the All Progressives Congress-led administration that the British Prime minister, Theresa May and other international organisations have condemned Nigeria under Buhari’s leadership as one that is being regarded as the world’s centre for “extreme poverty.”

He also called on the government to put on its thinking cap so as to change the negative narrative about Nigeria.

“The fact remains that Nigeria under Buhari has been adjudged as the world headquarters for extreme poverty by the World Economic Forum and the World Poverty Clock as well as the British Prime Minister, Theresa May. Are these people also corrupt?

“Only last month, the National Bureau of Statistics revealed that our second quarter GDP growth rate was lower than our first quarter GDP growth. Another quarter of negative growth and Nigeria will enter a second recession under the Buhari administration. The same NBS published in December 2017 that 7.9 million Nigerians lost their jobs in 21 months under Buhari’s watch.

“These are the things that the government should be focused on and not to haul infantile insults at the world’s largest bank,” Atiku added.  (The Sun)

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How FG Is Spending Abacha Loot – Lai Mohammed|The Republican News

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Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said that the money recovered from the late military ruler, Gen. Sani Abacha, is not being shared to the poor and vulnerable as widely believed.

Rather, he said, the money is being deployed in the financing of Federal Government’s social investment programmes comprising four components

He described as “mischievous” the insinuations that the government would share to the poor the Abacha loot repatriated by the Swiss Government.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mohammed said this on Monday when he paid an official visit to the Abuja office of The Authority newspaper.

“When the first tranche of Abacha loot was paid under former President Goodluck Jonathan, the Swiss Government found out that the money was re-looted by those in the administration.

“So, when they wanted to release the next tranche, they put the condition that it must be used for the most vulnerable Nigerians.

“We said there is no problem. It is the money we are using to finance our social investment programmes comprising four components,” the minister said.

Mohammed further said that 8.5 million pupils in government schools across the country are currently being fed under the Home Grown Feeding Programme.

Similarly, he said, over 400,000 families are being paid stipends of N5,000 every month under the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme.

“The beauty of this programme is that it is being done in collaboration with the World Bank.

“It is the World Bank and various agencies that determine the beneficiaries and who are the most vulnerable Nigerians,’’

Mohammed said that part of the money was being used to finance the employment of young graduates through the N-POWER programme.

He said that no fewer than 200,000 people had been employed in the first batch and another 200,000 would be resuming very soon.

“The fourth is the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme whereby market women, craft people etc., are given loan between N50,000 and N100,000

“So, when we say this money is being used for the poor people, it is not as if we are sharing it to poor people in the states,’’ he said.

Mohammed said the Buhari administration would remain accountable and committed to the welfare of the common people.

(NAN)

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BREAKING: Buhari Protects His Looters Burying Money In Aso Villa, Says Fayose

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Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has described as absurd, claim by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed that looters have resorted to burying stolen funds in their backyards, deep forests and burial grounds, saying;

He fired that: “Looters in the Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency, especially those being compensated for funding the election of the president in 2015 bury their own loots in the Villa with Presidential protection, The governor asked; “Should it be wrong for other supposed looters that do not have presidential protection like the All Progressives Congress (APC) looters to bury their loots in burial grounds probably for spiritual protection?”

In a statement issued on Monday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the governor said: “Nigerians can no longer be fooled with stage-managed loots recoveries, with no traceable owners (looters), especially when the loots are traceable to close associates of the president and his cabinet members. He said; “Obviously, this so-called anti-corruption war has become a laughing stock with stray N49m found in Kaduna Airport, N448 million discovered in a shop at Victoria Island, Lagos and N13 billion found in Ikoyi, Lagos neither having owners nor the identities of owners of the properties where the money was found known.”

Governor Fayose maintained that: “It is either the money belongs to members of Buhari’s government or it is being planted by the government to sustain its fake anti-corruption fight in the minds of the people.” He said; “Enough of stage-managed and fake anti-corruption war aimed solely at opposition figures, especially presidential hopefuls in the 2019 election.”

The governor noted that two different laws are operable in the country – one law for the APC and those who decamp to the party and the other for the opposition, especially those perceived as having presidential ambition. “The narrative they push daily is that only those in their government are saint while other Nigerians, including those in the National Assembly, Judiciary, opposition politicians and the civil servants are rogues while only Buhari’s appointees are saints. “To worsen matters, the cluelessness of the APC government in the last two years has plunged the country into debt without anything to show. “The cabals in the Presidency are also taking advantage of the President’s state of health, which is as a result of his age to oppress Nigerians. “Nigerians must therefore keep their eyes on the ball and not be carried away by the orchestrated distractions aimed at preventing them from seeing how the APC led government has failed woefully.” He called on the international community to hold Nigeria accountable on the recovered N13 billion cash found in that Ikoyi, Lagos apartment saying; “this must not be swept under the carpet.”  (The Sun)

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