Buhari ‘directs’ MDAs to compile names of looters for publication

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed relevant ministries, departments and agencies to compile documents on names of public officials from whom funds has been recovered so far.

According to the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, said this on Wednesday when he met with its representatives.

Adetokunbo Mumuni, Executive Director of SERAP, said the directive by Buhari was in response to a court order by the Federal High Court, Lagos, directing the Federal Government to publish the names of persons from whom funds had been recovered, as well as how much that was recovered from each person.

“We had a very productive meeting with Mr Malami, discussing, among other critical issues, the need for the government to obey the judgment delivered in July by Hon Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari,” Mumuni wrote in a statement issued on Thursday.

“Mr Malami informed us that President Buhari has directed the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other relevant agencies involved in the recovery of looted funds to promptly put the documents together with a view to fully and promptly enforcing the judgment by Justice Shagari.

“We hope that the implementation of the judgment will now happen sooner rather than later.

“We believe that effectively implementing the judgment will be a victory for the rule of law, show the way forward in the fight against corruption and impunity of perpetrators in the country, as well as demonstrate Buhari’s oft-repeated commitment to tackling the problem of grand corruption.”

Last year, the ministry of information published details of assets that had been recovered so far in the anti-corruption campaign.

According to the publication, total cash recovery between May 29, 2015 and May 25, 2016 amounts to N78,325,354,631.82, $185,119,584.61, £3,508,355.46 and €11, 250.

Monies that were under interim forfeiture at the time totalled: N126,563,481,095.43, $9,090,243,920.15, £2,484,447.55 and €303,399.17.

Anticipated repatriation from foreign countries totalled: $321,316,726.1, £6,900,000 and €11,826.11.

A total of 239 non-cash recoveries were made during the period, comprising farmlands, plots of land, uncompleted buildings, completed buildings, vehicles and maritime vessels.

Following the publication, SERAP made a freedom-of-information request to the ministry requesting a list of the alleged looters and how much was recovered from each person.

But when the information was not provided, SERAP proceeded to court to compel the Federal Government to publish the list of supposed looters.

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