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Civil society groups urge U.S., UK to return Nigeria’s looted wealth


David Ugolor

Nine Nigerian Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have called on United States (U.S.) and United Kingdom (UK) to emulate the determination of Swiss authorities to track, freeze and return all looted Nigeria’s wealth and assets in their countries.

The NGOs, which made this known at the 1st Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR), an offshoot of 2016 anti-corruption conference convened by former British Prime Minister, David Cameron, in recognition of the negative role which corruption plays in reducing the human capital value of most developing countries, said the meeting provided an enabling environment for genuine collective action towards returning stolen assets to original owner.

Representative of Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), David Ugolor, who spoke with The Guardian, said the NGOs were delighted that the looted fund is coming back to Nigeria through a transparent process.

According to him: “We hope this will encourage the U.S., UK governments and others to ensure a speedy return of all stolen assets from Nigeria still stashed in their countries.”

In the same vein, Chairman of HEDA Resource Centre, Nigeria, Olanrewaju Suraju, said the symbolic signing of the MoU is indicative of potentialities of government to use exclusively the money for social investment.

He said: “This is a welcome development and its utilisation for development purposes would go a long way in mitigating our development crises. We commend the Swiss government for once again showing profound commitment toward completion of the recovery process.”

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David Ugolor
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