The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, yesterday said nobody is above the law or too big to be investigated saying, even former president Goodluck Jonathan can be probed.
The minister, who made the remark in an interview with newsmen in Ile-ife, affirmed that there is no sacred cow as far as waging war against corruption is concerned.
He pointed out that whosoever was investigated and found culpable would be prosecuted.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is not the one dictating who should be investigated, if need be, anybody (including former president Goodluck Jonathan) could be invited for probe,” he said.
He equally stated that the Buhari-led administration would do all it could to fight corruption to a standstill and charged all and sundry to work hand in hand with the government to phase out the unwanted act in the society.
Meanwhile, President Buhari yesterday revealed that the country had lost $400 billion to corruption from the oil sector alone.
The president spoke through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a lecture entitled: “Nexus between Corruption and Under-development of the Nigerian state”, delivered at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
While stressing that instances of corruption were also recorded in other various sectors of the country, President Buhari said: “In the health sector, there is the N1.9 billion special intervention Ebola Fund scandal, the $29 million vaccine grants scam and the N300 million unspent health budget scam.” He added:
“In the area of security, a former Inspector General of Police (IG) is alleged to have acquired assets totalling $150 million, including money stashed in banks, shares in blue chip companies and 14 luxury buildings. Then, there is the police equipment funds scandal in which about N774 million was diverted and the Dasukigate that has so far revealed that 21 individuals benefitted from the scam to a tune of N54 billion.
“There is also the CCTV contract scandal, in which the $470 million contract, which was awarded in 2010 for Lagos and Abuja, was to be implemented by Chinese firm, ZTE Corporation, as well as the $15 million arms deal scandal.
“The illegal arms purchase deal which made South Africa’s Asset Forfeiture Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority to seize $9.3 million and $5.7 million amounting to $15 million. All the looted funds could be used to finance the security and defence component of the budget.”
He said: “At the launch of the national security sensitisation campaign in Abuja, between 2006 and 2013, just 55 people allegedly looted N1.34 trillion. They include former state governors, former ministers, civil servants, businessmen and bankers.
“Just imagine the sheer magnitude of this looting- 1.34 trillion naira-which is more than a quarter of last year’s national budget! As for states, funds looted by former state governors, which could have been used to provide adequate infrastructure in the states, are a clear link between corruption and under development of those states.”