LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria is asking the World Bank to help force Liechtenstein to return more than a quarter billion dollars stolen by former military dictator Sani Abacha.
A statement from Liechtenstein’s government Thursday blamed the delay on a complaint filed by Abacha-linked companies at the European Court of Human Rights. The statement says Liechtenstein is negotiating with the World Bank to ensure the country isn’t held liable if that court rules in favor of the companies.
Nigerian newspapers this week quoted Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as accusing the small European nation of “outrageous delaying tactics” because its banks benefit. She spoke after meeting World Bank officials in Washington.
Nigeria asked Liechtenstein to return the money in 2000, two years after Abacha died. A Liechtenstein court ordered the money confiscated last year.