21 February 2018

Nigeria: Publish Assets Recovered, Names of 'Looters' Before Sale, Fayose Tells Buhari

Photo: This Day
War on corruption.

The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has challenged the federal government to publish all the looted property it has recovered, in addition to names of those they were recovered from, before selling them (assets) off.

He also said that the government should endeavour to publish the names of the buyers after they are eventually sold.

The governor, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communication and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said Nigerians were no longer interested in being governed through propaganda.

Mr. Fayose, who has been an ardent critic of the federal government's anti-corruption drive, spoke against the backdrop of plans by the government to sell off recovered assets, allegedly acquired through corrupt means.

President Muhammadu Buhari recently gave a hint of this plan.

"Nigerians want to know how many properties were recovered and who bought the properties," said Mr. Fayose, Wednesday.

"Who authorised the sale? Nigerians want details, not propaganda because most of these properties have been sold and resold."

He advised the federal government to create a website where all the properties recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and to whom they were sold would be listed.

The governor said it was no longer possible to trust the EFCC's reports on recovered looted funds and properties.

"How can Nigerians continue to trust the position of the same EFCC that said in April 2016 that the allegation of corruption against Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Chairman, Danladi Umar was mere suspicion and would be difficult to prove in court, but now charged the same CCT chairman to court on the allegation it described as mere suspicion?" Mr. Fayose questioned.

"On November 23, 2017, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, the Chairman of the Senate committee investigating the botched reinstatement and promotion of the former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pensions, Ibrahim Maina told Nigerians on the floor of the Senate that almost all the exotic properties recovered from alleged looters of Pension Funds had already been re-looted by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

"Last year November also, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), while testifying before the National Assembly alleged that one of the properties recovered from alleged looters of Pension Funds was already sold to a Lagos lawyer.

"How are we now sure that the same people who re-looted the recovered pension loots have not also looted the recovered properties the President said will be sold?"

He also referred to the Malabu scandal, in which the names of several persons had been defamed in the media, and that the Attorney-General of the Federal had declared that there was not enough evidence to prosecute the accused persons in court.

"The federal government should therefore publish and state clearly what has happened in the EFCC between 2006 and now," he said.

"Nigerians need to know the recovered properties sold by Ibrahim Magu's predecessor, Ibrahim Lamorde and other previous EFCC chairmen. Those who bought them should be made public too."

The President had earlier promised to publicly declare assets recovered and 'looters', but only partially fulfilled the promise in June 2016 when the government published some of the assets and funds recovered without publishing the names of those involved.

The issue became controversial as the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP), in a freedom of information suit, sought an order, urging the federal government to name the suspected looters.

The Federal High Court in Lagos greed that the government had the obligation to declare the names of the suspected looters in granting the prayers of SERAP.

The federal government agreed in principle with the July 5, 2017 court judgement, with a promise to carry out the order.

It is, however, yet to fulfil that promise.

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Publish Properties Recovered By EFCC, Before Sale, Fayose Tells Govt

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