Buhari being careful by not disclosing identities of looters, says Presidency

Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina has defended President Muhammadu Buhari for not disclosing the identities of those who have looted public funds in the past.

Buhari-Ocholi
Adesina noted that the President should be commended for his action despite recanting on his ealier promised to publish the names of looters alongside the amount they stole.

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The President‘s spokesman said the current government demonstrated strength, stressing that disclosing the names will discourage others from returning their loot. He said this while speaking on Sunday Politics, a programme on Channels Television.

According to Adesina, “Well, the president said he will mention names, but even if he erred, it’s better to err on the side of caution. It’s always better to err on the side of caution. It (naming those who returned stolen assets) came up and legal opinion was that it was premature to mention those names.

“So, for me I think it’s a demonstration of strength for the president not to have mentioned those names again, contrary to what he said earlier. It shows that he buys into the opinion of other people. Legal minds came up to say: ‘Don’t mention these names of these people yet’. It would have implications if you do so, and he bought into it.

“I think rather it’s something that we must commend and applaud rather than condemn. These recoveries were made from May 29 last year to May 25 this year. A large number of them are fresh loot, outside the Abacha loot.”

Noting that if Buhari had gone ahead with the earlier plan it could have backfired, Adesina said, “What if at the end of the day the court decides that those people are not guilty and that the money should be returned, then you will have legal cases on your hands and that will constitute distraction to the government.

“At the end of the day, we will lose monies that would have been recoverable for the country. What of the situation of those who want to return monies… because the government has been precipitate in mentioning names, those funds will not be returned to the coffers again.

“I think it is better to err on the side of caution and that was why eventually the president agreed with those who said the names should be withheld.”

Adesina said the recovered loot may be used as part of finance to fund the deficit in the 2016 budget.

“If you look at the 2016 budget, you will see that it anticipated this eventuality. There is a provision, I think about N380 billion which say would be provided for from recovered funds. So the budget anticipated this.

“When he visited the UK in February, the president said much of the money that would have been borrowed to fund this budget may not be borrowed again because of recovered funds and monies that were housed through the Treasury Single Account (TSA).”

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9 Comments

  1. I just wonder why some of us commentators don’t seem to comprehend stories. What is wrong in somebody promising to return to me , my stolen pencil recovered from another person who is still protesting that he didn’t steal the pencil, but the person handing me back my pencil said :”take your pencil, i will tell u the person that stole it later”. Ofcourse, I am happy that I got my pencil back, may be happier if I knew who stole it but which has now being delayed NOT denied.

  2. The theory that a looter will not return stolen funds because his name will be made public is a cock and bull story propagated by looters; so that they the looter can return some or none of the stolen funds in an environment of secrecy without facing the music.
    Come to think of it why would I return looted money, if I as a looter know that I have escaped detection? it doesn’t make sense!
    What makes sense is to propagate a theory that will help hide my identity and save me from the wrath of the law; when returning stolen funds.
    I expect PMB’s administration to be smarter than this!
    Dear Mr. President and OBJ, Nigerians are not stupid and we can read in between the lines.
    Stop giving lame excuses for shielding thieves, case in point exposing looters will discourage and stop other looters from return stolen funds.for shielding thieves.
    Mr. President this is one of the reasons you are in power; both to restore willingly returned loot and those that the looter does not want to return
    A righteous administration is expected to uphold the law and not to negotiate with thieves as is the case in developed countries like UK and USA
    Get to work and put action behind this talk of Zero tolerance for corruption!!!!
    APC I am glad to announce to you that the stage is set for Nigerians to assess this party. This is the ACID TEST AND ITS UP TO YOU TO FAIL OR PASS IT.
    God bless Nigeria

    • @Olusola I smile! You write like say na your papa born you. You make sense die. See, if these names are not mentioned; don’t they think that in future Nigerians will unknowingly vote these same thieves into offices. But if we know them, dem no born dem well again to say dem wan come out do government work. So PMB for the sake of passing your ACID TEST, name them and rule Nigeria forever. This is an opportunity for all Nigerians to stand by you come 2019. Be wise!

  3. My fellow Nigerians, sometimes we just come to the press or just add our opinion without critically viewing the consequence, however, according to the law of and constitution of the advance country like the US & UK, there is something called for the interest of the public, So if PMB initially said he was going to mention names and he was been advised and he sees reason with the advisers and he decided not to mention the names again. Let us agreed that he knows what is doing because most of us just sit at home and just keep talking anyhow, we are not with him in Aso rock and we dont see what he is seeing,and we should not forget that this man is fighting many fight underground, because all this looters too are not just being silent at all, they are finding every means of making it not to work for the presidents because they believed that apart from collecting the nation money’s back he is also blocking that avenue for them and that is a big war between them and is not all this the president will be saying to the public,how many attempts has he escape to eliminate him???? you and i dont know,let pray for him to achieved this because OUR Country has been in a mess for so long and No one has ever thought of doing what Buhari is doing so let us support him and stop criticising his effort.

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