World, Africa

Nigeria seeks help to recover looted funds

Acting President Osinbajo says govt to 'call out' countries, institutions not helping to repatriate looted funds

Ekip  | 05.06.2017 - Update : 05.06.2017
Nigeria seeks help to recover looted funds Nigeria's Acting President Yemi Osinbajo

By Rafiu Ajakaye

LAGOS, Nigeria

Nigeria's Acting President Yemi Osinbajo said Monday that the administration had a duty to trace all funds looted from the country as well as "call out" countries and foreign financial institutions found not to be cooperating with its effort to repatriate such funds.

Speaking at a conference in capital Abuja on the return of recovered assets and combating illicit financial flow through intergovernmental cooperation, Osinbajo said stolen assets and funds remained a phenomenon because many countries and financial institutions helped the perpetrators.

"There is no way this [illicit] transfer of assets can happen without a handshake between the countries that they are transferred and the international banking institutions in the countries in which they are transferred, there is no way it will happen without some form of connivance," he said.

"We have to look at somehow delegitimizing those kinds of financial institutions and criminalizing them, so that banks and financial institutions that actually engage in this are being called out and made to face the consequences of engaging in criminal practices.

"If that isn’t done, we are not likely to go very far," he added.

Well over $15 billion in stolen funds were said to have been illicitly transferred from Nigeria between 2011 and 2015, with Abuja pressing Western nations and their financial institutions to help repatriate these funds.

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