CSOs to FG: Publish names of treasury looters, recovered monies
A coalition of civil society groups under the auspices of the Say No Campaign has asked the Federal government to make public the names of Nigerians found to have looted the public treasury and also make public the actual amount of money so far recovered as it will help the fight against corruption in the country.
One of the conveners of the Coalition, Ezenwa Nwagwu, said the 2017 world anti corruption day celebration in Abuja that the government owes it a duty to inform Nigerians on the progress so far made in the fight against corruption, adding that when the government says it is fighting corruption, it is not doing anybody any favour because it is part of its constitutional duties.
He said the group was out to demystify the fact that the fight against corruption was one man’s fight, adding that “it is easy in Nigeria to build a personality cult around the anti-corruption fight; it is easy to make the anti-corruption fight a cliché. So you hear the government saying every time that it wants to fight corruption but the truth of the matter is that it is in the Constitution that it is the role of the government to abolish it.
“So, when the government says it is fighting corruption, it is not doing anybody a favour, the consequence of corruption is upon us, its effect is upon us. When you hear that billions of naira is stolen, it means there are no drugs in the hospital, it means that citizens cannot have jobs; they will sell recharge cards.
“It means that our industries will not work and Ajaokuta, Oshogbo and Aladja Steel Rolling Mills will never come to life”, adding that Ajaokuta mill alone could employ 17, 000 engineers. If you take 17,000 engineers off the unemployment market, that is a respectable self-esteem kind of job but corruption has hampered that’’.
Another convener and Coordinator African Centre for Media and Information Literacy, Chidi Onuma, Keeping the names of those who have looted the treasury is a disservice to the fight against corruption, saying “I don’t know anybody you would ask in this country who wouldn’t want to make those names public. It goes beyond the name.
“We should also have the amount that the government has recovered so far from its effort in the fight against corruption. It will help in ensuring that there is greater confidence in the government and its anti corruption war.
“It is important for Nigerians to know because it is beyond making an elaborate statement about how much was recovered and the corrupt people who are being prosecuted.
“It is important that we also come out to tell Nigerians how much of the looted funds has been recovered and from who. Some of the reasons may be because of the legal implication because you have to ensure that the judicial system takes its course and ensure that things are resolved before you make anything public”.
He said further that even though People have different opinion about the war against corruption, there has been some successes, but there is still room for improvement, adding that “we need to keep talking about it with the hope that it would primate every Sector and aspect of the Nigeria society. You do not resolve the issue of corruption in a day.
“The current government has made efforts through whistleblowing, treasury single account among others. There has been some criticism, but it is something that we need to continue to work on as a people until we are able to reduce corruption to a bearable minimum.
“Every now and then, you hear accusations of selective prosecution. I think the question. We should be as, I give ourselves is whether anybody who has been picked up for corruption irrespective of political affiliation, has committed a crime.
“If a crime has been committed, we should look beyond where the person comes from, his religion, ethnicity of political party. If we look at that, I would say you that allegations can’t stand because in my own estimation. Almost everybody that has been put on trial for corruption in this country has a case to answer.”