Friday, November 20, 2009

Nigeria ex-leader Sani Abacha's son 'must pay $350m

A Swiss court has ordered the seizure of $350m (£212m) in assets from the son of Nigeria's former military ruler, General Sani Abacha.

Abba Abacha was convicted of being a member of a criminal organisation and given a suspended custodial sentence. Switzerland began investigating the Abacha family in 1999 and has so far handed back about $700m to Nigeria. Nigerian state lawyers believe Sani Abacha, who ruled from 1993 until his death in 1998, may have stolen $2.2bn.

The Swiss authorities pursued Abba Abacha for six years before extraditing him from Germany in 2005. "The examining magistrate sentenced him to a suspended jail term, and ordered the confiscation of his assets of $350m," Geneva canton's justice office said in a statement. "[The money] is held by his criminal organisation and seized through international assistance in Luxembourg and the Bahamas."

Correspondents say Abba Abacha can appeal against the judgement.


  1. This is remarkable! Though what baffles me is where all these billions of naira are going, because this money can actually go round each and every Nigerian if distributed yet we hear nothing more about it after it has been handed over to the Government.
    On the other side I keep asking myself what he actually wanted to do with all of that money? Quite common with African leaders.

  2. Kemi I agree with you. Why do they seize such money and give it back to the government and not the people? I hear the EU just approved some multi-million euro grant to be given to the Nigerian government to fight corruption. HOW DOES THAT MAKE SENSE? If the government is stealing money why give them more money to "fight corruption?" The EU is corrupt I say!

    Look at the French president giving his useless son some big post. They are all alike. It is not just Africans who practise this nonsense nepotism!