15 October 2013

The Coming Nigeria-Liechtenstein Rift

So Nigeria says that Liechtenstein is making excuses to keep money on deposit from former dictator Abacha, years after his death. There's irony in this, of course, with Nigeria needing to email people all over the world for help repatriating the funds from Liechtenstein back to their home country.

Nigeria accused Liechtenstein of using legal challenges as a pretext to cling on to 185 million euros stolen by former military dictator Sani Abacha who died 14 years ago.

Nigeria has been fighting to recover the money for years, but companies linked to the Abacha family keep going to court to prevent the funds being repatriated, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.

A Liechtenstein government spokesman said the country was making efforts to return the money but a complaint in the European Court of Human Rights brought by companies affected was still pending.

"We feel that the Liechtenstein people have been stalling for 14 years," Okonjo-Iweala told Reuters.

"They are just looking for excuses and I think this is where international civil society should mount pressure on these people," she added. "The authorities are holding things back."

By: Brant

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