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Monday, 30 May 2016

Why President Buhari failed to announce recovered loots on May 29?

We will get the list but not today; before the end of the week. But I must say not with the names. -Lai Muhammed.



President Muhammadu Buhari did not release details of looted asset, recovered from corrupt persons, due to “legal reasons”, said the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, who immediately jumped into seabed of public discussion and whose ministry was expected to publish the details information. Mr Lai Muhammed disclosed this on Sunday evening, hours after Mr. Buhari’s Democracy Day broadcast.

“Yes, he initially said so (that he’ll give specific details about recovered loot), but he was advised against doing so for legal reasons,” the Cable Newspapers quoted Mr. Mohammed as saying during an interview on Channels Television.

Mr. Buhari had on May 14 in London promised to provide specific details of stolen asset by former public officials.

“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 had said.

But during his nation-wide address on Sunday morning, the President failed to make the details public. Instead, he said, the Information Ministry would soon release relevant details.
The development immediately drew the ire of Nigerians, who became outraged that their leader has once again failed to live up to his words.

But Mr. Mohammed said his principal has the right to reverse himself.

“Of course, he has a right to reverse himself on that,” he said.

Mr. Mohammed, however, said the administration will publish some details of recovered loot, but a far cry from what the president initially promised.


“We will get the list but not today; before the end of the week. But I must say not with the names,” he said.


President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday failed to give specific details of recovered loot as part of his anti-corruption war during his Democracy Day speech, consequently reneging on an earlier promise he made to that effect.
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.

Some of them said they were dissappointed that Mr. Buhari failed to keep his promise.
The president and his government have of recent come under pressure to publicly substantiate his claims that billions of dollars have been recovered through the administration’s intensified war against graft.
Meanwhile, Mr. Buhari repeated his ministers’ claim that the administration had been able to successfully eliminate 43,000 ‘ghost’ workers that were costing the government N4.2 billion every month from the federal payroll.

“An important first step has been to get our housekeeping right. So we have reduced the extravagant spending of the past. We started boldly with the treasury single account, stopping the leakages in public expenditure.
“In addition, we will save Twenty-Three Billion Naira per annum from official travelling and sitting allowances alone,” Mr. Buhari said.
But the claims that legal consequences prevented the president from announcing the names appear to be in sharp contrast with what the president did in January when he released the names of former military officials, private individuals and companies.

On January 15, Mr. Buhari published up to 41 names of former services chiefs, firms and individuals said to be responsible for over $2B arms procurement fund that was unaccounted for.
Culled from Premium Times Nigeria

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