Falana, Others React as Buhari Fails to Name Looters

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Some legal practitioners and economists have expressed support for the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to unveil the names of looters and the amount of looted assets so far recovered.
The President, had, in an interview in London, while attending the anti-corruption summit organised by British Prime Minister, David Cameron, recently, promised to disclose the figure in his Democracy Day address to the nation.

Buhari, however, on Sunday, dashed the hopes of millions of Nigerians who were waiting to be told how much his administration had so far recovered from individuals and firms accused of looting the nation’s treasury.

In his nationwide address to mark his one year in office on Sunday, Buhari failed to disclose the figure as promised.

Rather, the President promised Nigerians that the Ministry of Information and Culture would be publishing the details which he said would be updated periodically.

He simply said “significant amount of assets” had been recovered.

The President said, “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.

“Full details of the status and categories of the assets will now be published by the Ministry of Information and updated periodically.”

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana, and Lagos-based lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, said on Sunday that Buhari’s directive to the Minister of Information to release details of the looted funds periodically, was in order.

“That is the correct approach because it is an ongoing process,” Falana said.

But the Executive Secretary of Anti-corruption Network, Ebenezer Oyetakin, said Buhari’s speech did not meet the expectations of most Nigerians, who expected him to name the corrupt elements as he promised.

Ogunye said he would not have expected the President “to be reeling out names of looters in his Democracy Day speech”.

“It is the duty of the Minister of Information to speak for the government. The strategy adopted by the President is the best.”

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