The Federal Government on Saturday released details of loots recovered from some looters in the past administration of Goodluck Jonathan but reneged the earlier promise to name the 'culprits'.
The government earlier cited legal' reason for the renege but check by News Punch discovered further reasons why names of the looters were not actually mentioned
- Pressure on the President and a superior argument that doing so would jeopardize further success of his anticorruption campaign.
- The president was eventually convinced that publicly naming the persons involved would obviously embarrass those who quietly returned misappropriated funds “in good conscience”.
- Others who are yet to return looted funds may be discouraged from cooperating with the government while those publicly named may resort to lengthy litigation and ensuing court injunctions to encumber the process of recovering more funds or concluding their prosecution, one of the sources explained.
- The legal implication
According to The Authority Newspaper, a source disclosed that the delay in releasing the list to meet the president’s deadline was because of efforts to harmonise the forfeitures made to different anti-graft agencies, including the police, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other offences Commission (ICPC) and the Department of State Security (DSS).
Also, the speed was sightly hampered by efforts to get the actual cost and appropriate market value of assets like buildings, land, and vehicles recovered during the exercise.
Buhari had pledged to identify the looters on May 29th, 2016 but in in his Democracy Day speech that day, he directed the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to publish the compilation of monies recovered from Nigerians and firms that looted allegedly the public treasury in Jonathan’s government.
In a press statement yesterday, Mohammed, said cash totaling N78,325,354,631.82; $ 1 8 5 , 1 1 9 , 5 8 4 . 6 1 ;£3,508,355.46; and 11, 250 Euros were recovered from between 29th May, 2015 to 25th May, 2016.
The statement signed by the Minister’s Special Adviser, Segun Adeyemi, explained that recoveries made under Interim Forfeiture (cash and assets) during the same period totaled N126,563,481,095.43; $ 9 , 0 9 0 , 2 4 3 , 9 2 0 . 1 5 ; £2,484,447.55; and 303,399.17 Euros.
The disclosures are based on “the interim report on the financial and assets recoveries made by the various government agencies namely the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC; Department of State Security DSS; Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC; as well as the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA; from 29 May 2015 to 25 May 2016”.
Also, funds yet to be returned from “Foreign Jurisdictions” stand at $321,316,726.10; £6,900,000; and 11,826.11 Euros; while “Non-Cash Recoveries” (Farmlands, Plots of Land, Uncompleted Buildings, Completed Buildings, Vehicles and Maritime Vessels)” were totals 239.