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Looters’ Identity: Reasons the President Failed to Keep Promise

30 May 2016 National

LOOTERS – The Minister for Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Sunday said President Muhammadu Buhari was advised against revealing the identity of looters due to the legal implications of such an action.

Mohammed disclosed this while featuring on the First Year, to mark the Buhari’s administration’s first year in office.

He, however, reneged on the promise during his address yesterday and rather gave the responsibility to the Ministry of Information and Culture.

Reacting to the development, Mohammed said, he initially said so and that he’ll give specific details about recovered loot, but he was advised against doing so for legal reasons.


Failed Promise on Looters’ Identity?


Mr. Buhari had on May 14 said in London that he would personally provide specific details of all recovered stolen public funds because he believed that what Nigerians were being fed through the media were not detailed enough.

“So far, what has come out, what has been recovered in whatever currency from each ministries, departments and individuals, I intend on the 29th to speak on this because all Nigerians are getting from the mass media because of the number of people arrested either by the EFCC, DSS. But we want to make a comprehensive report on the 29th,” Mr. Buhari said while attending the anti-corruption summit in London.

But during his nationwide broadcast on Sunday morning, the president only repeated previous claims that his administration was grappling with bureaucratic hurdles that make it difficult for stolen assets to be recovered from foreign jurisdictions.

“We are also engaged in making recoveries of stolen assets some of which are in different jurisdictions. The processes of recovery can be tedious and time consuming, but today I can confirm that thus far: significant amount of assets have been recovered. A considerable portion of these are at different stages of recovery.

Rather than personally speak on the matter and provide specific details as promised, Mr. Buhari only said he had directed the Ministry of Information to periodically publish details on the assets recovered so far.

“Full details of the status and categories of the assets will now be published by the Ministry of Information and updated periodically. When forfeiture formalities are completed these monies will be credited to the treasury and be openly and transparently used in funding developmental projects and the public will be informed,” Mr. Buhari said.

Based on the President’s May 14 promise, millions of Nigerians had on Sunday morning stayed glued to their radio and TV for the Democracy Day speech.

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