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Monday, 9 April 2018

Looters’ list: Why Nigerian govt omitted certain names – Sagay


The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay, has said the federal government omitted some names from the list of alleged treasury looters for strategic reasons.

Sagay, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), stated this during an interview on Channels Television programme, Sunday Politics.

He accused some elites in the country of being violent against the anti-corruption war of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The senior lawyer noted that while the Federal Government was doing all it could in its resolve to rid Nigeria of corruption, the so-called powerful persons were frustrating the effort.

“Government might not have mentioned the names of some individuals due to ‘strategic’ reasons but such reasons would unravel themselves in the course of time.

“Nigerians must, however, know this government has poured its heart and might into fighting corruption, but corruption has fought back.

“And the shocking aspect is that it is the elites, the educated, the powerful who have been fighting this government. They have been so violent in the opposition to the fight against corruption that one is even shocked,” he said.

Despite the challenges of the anti-corruption campaign and the strength of the opposition, the PACAC chairman said he was impressed with the success recorded so far.

He disclosed further that a lot of looted assets have been recovered by the government and that part of them was used to fund the current budget.

Professor Sagay also reacted to the recent list of alleged looters published by the government. Amid the mixed reaction triggered by the list, the senior advocate noted that there was nothing wrong with it.

He recalled that a court had ordered the government to publish the names of those who have looted the nation’s resources, saying the disclosure was in accordance with the court’s directive and to address the issue of public interest.

The lawyer said he would not be surprised if more names of alleged looters surface, stressing that “there is a very large number of these people who presided over the looting of the assets of this country.”

He was also confident that the judges handling corruption cases cannot be influenced by the views of other people as they have the knowledge to make their own opinion on the facts of the case before them.

Reacting to those who have condemned the list, he said, “It’s a free society, the government has provided its own list.

“Those who are complaining must surely know the persons who are omitted from the list. So, let them bring out their own list and let them correct the list which is incomplete.”

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