Nigerians Can Now Help President Buhari Recover Looted Funds, Here Is How

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Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has told Nigerians how they can help President Muhammadu Buhari recovr stolen loots.

In an interview with Channels television, the Lagos-based lawyer said Nigerians must own the ongoing war against corruption to make it effective.

Femi Falana

Femi Falana says Nigerians must help the president in the war against corruption.

Read excerpts from the interview below:

The war against corruption, can it be described as  cosmetic?

The war against corruption that is on-going deserves the encouragement of Nigerians, particularly the victims of corruption – soldiers who were deprived of arms to fight Boko Haram, the people seeking medical attention and could not get, the unemployed masses. Nigerians should own the war because if you simply leave it to government, of course, you cannot remove allegations of prosecutorial selectivity and the rest of them, but Nigerians should insist that there has to be restitution from those who have stolen from our commonwealth, and reduce our people to a poverty stricken lot. Nigerians must be prepared to wage the war much more than the government.

What specifically are you asking of Nigerians?

When there was no EFCC and ICPC in the 1970s, official corruption was fought by the media. It was a case of  ‘if you Tarka me I will Dabor you’. It was a story of a very powerful minister under the Yakubu Gowon regime, the late  J.S. Tarka and a businessman, Mr Godwin Dabor, who went to a Lagos High Court to swear to an affidavit that the minister was corrupt and, from there, the press feasted on it and would not let go until Takar resigned from that government.

But the situation is totally different now.

And because the media is not doing the same thing it did then, it is also being accused of aiding the untoward act. Now, religious leaders, traditional rulers, and other forces of influence in the country are being accused of corruption and, therefore, Nigerians must own the fight against corruption or we will not get anywhere.

The issue today is that if anybody is accused of corruption, you don’t just leave it to the EFCC or the ICPC. We must restore ethical values. If a man has been found guilty of rigging an election, you do not celebrate him. Even some of those whose elections have been nullified are still referred to as former governors, as if they were elected. That is wrong.

I’m not blaming the press. I belong to a profession that, perhaps, contributes more to the culture of impunity than the media. All of us have to agree that we have a serious crisis, much more serious than terrorism, kidnapping which are sometimes manifestations of corruption.

This arms scandal is spreading like wild fire and we have a President who goes out to tell the who world how corrupt we are…

Corruption in Nigeria is more than what I can tell you. It has reached a dangerous level. In most parts of the world, it is narco-terrorists, drug barons that are associated with moving humongous sums of money round, but what we have in Nigeria is a situation where officials of a modern state, officials of government will invade the central bank of the nation, like armed robbers, and allegedly order that huge sums of money, on one occasion, $37million, in 11 Ghana-Must-Go bags, be taken out of the central bank or you order people to go to the central bank as if you’re operating an ATM machine, to move out huge sums.

We have never witnessed this primitive level of corruption.

But are we so sure of this? Abacha was accused of same.

In that instance, again very interesting, it was the office of the National Security Adviser that was also used and at a go they didn’t go beyond $100million.   I have the records.

The Accountant General of the Federation reportedly claimed that they had only recovered $2billion from the Abacha loot.

But I have documented evidence that the money recovered from  Abacha  is about $4billion.


Yes, $4billion.

What are the details?

The Abdulsalami Abubakar junta  set up a panel of inquiry and the panel came up with a report that the late General Sani Abacha  stole about $5billion from the CBN, but identified about $1billion, largely removed in cash and that government recovered  and gazetted it. It is Decree 53 of 1999. President Obasanjo continued with the recovery effort.

In the second volume of his book, My Watch, Obasanjo stated, in black and white, that by the time he was leaving  office in May 2007, he had recovered $2billion, 100million pounds sterling and, N10billion.

Now, when the N446billion theft case was going to be withdrawn against Mr. Mohammed Abacha, the Federal Ministry of Justice  issued a statement to justify the withdrawal that this was meant to facilitate the repatriation of looted funds from abroad under the Jonathan administration and we were told that $930million had been recovered and that excluded the $458m that had been seized by the US government.

Even now, Madam Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, following a publication, had now said that in one fell swoop she released $322m to the then NSA and that $700m was expected for development.

Read more .

The post Nigerians Can Now Help President Buhari Recover Looted Funds, Here Is How appeared first on Nigeria News today & Breaking news | Read on NAIJ.COM.

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