A UK-based group has claimed that more than £400bn of looted Nigerian money is stashed away in Europe, Asia and America.
President Muhammadu Buhari has recently commented on the steps being taken by his government regarding the stolen funds:
“Some monies were paid to individual accounts. We are identifying the financial institutions and countries that are involved.”
According to The Punch, in a fresh development, Africa Secretariat made serious disclosures and suggested direct ways of recovering the looted amounts.
The group’s coordinator Ben Oguntala on Friday, August 7, spoke on the matter:
“The image President Buhari is projecting is his promise to fight corruption. He cannot do this alone and it is for this reason that we have sent the president our proposal for addressing corruption.
“There is over £400bn worth of Nigerian money being fraudulently held in Europe, Asia and America. When we met with the president on his visit to London (earlier this year), he asked us to find out how Nigerians in the Diaspora can contribute to the development of Nigeria and we see fighting corruption as a cornerstone of that change that Nigeria is leading across Africa.
“The perpetrators thought they got away from the Nigerian law but now, finally, the law can be extended to bring them to account.”
The official also said that Buhari had been advised to have an anti-graft agency established in Britain. The body would operate under UK and European legislation, with the cooperation of experienced international agencies.
“The Nigerian Corruption Amnesty Commission (NCAC) proposal has been suggested and submitted to the President. It will be headed by one of the most talented lawyers in criminal law in the world. The commission will be answerable directly to the president and will be held in the UK, using the UK and European Union laws to target perpetrators who thought they were out of the Nigerian legal jurisdiction.”
Oguntala further narrated how the NCAC would ensure effectiveness of its work:
“Using social media and the Internet, witnesses will be able to give evidence from any location across the world, providing evidence of corruption they know. The commission will also give a window for perpetrators to confess and return their loots or face the book being thrown at them.
“As part of the confession they give, the commission will demand details of how they carried out the corruption and the information will be used to plug the loophole in the commensurate sources in Nigeria to ensure we prevent such graft from happening again.”
Amid the active anti-corruption moves, the senators of the last government have accused Buhari and his team of leading a selective anti-corruption war targeted at the officials of Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. This follows the presidency’s claims that the probe would not extend to the government of Olusegun Obasanjo. Peoples Democratic Party chieftains said that it was pure witch-hunting.
Responding to the criticism, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo dismissed the allegations adding that the current actions were not about the previous government, but “any form of impunity”.