Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria, Yakubu Dogara, has described as unimaginable, the scale of corruption so far uncovered by anti-graft agencies.
At a meeting with newspaper editors in Abuja, on Saturday, the speaker, said he was shocked by the monumental looting of the treasury in the past, citing the discovery of billions of looted fund buried in a farm in Abuja.
He explained that operatives of anti-graft agencies had been busy moving the cash out of the farm.
Dogara said he had never heard of such impunity in which people “stole for the sake of stealing,” decrying the latest antics of suspected looters to bury their loot in farmland.
“But, if I am just arrested, charged to court and maybe some money recovered from me and, at the end of the day, nothing happens, a lot of people may not be deterred in the future from engaging in corrupt practices.
“If you look at the massive looting of the treasury (actually, I have been in government for quite some time), I never could have imagined the scale of corruption that we are witnessing right now, where people took lot of money running into billions and buried them in farms.
“As we are speaking now, they are recovering monies from someone’s farm somewhere around Abuja. It is very unfortunate where people stole money just for the sake of stealing,” he said.
While acknowledging the criticism against the anti-graft agencies on the pace of work, Dogara noted that the agencies appeared overwhelmed by the volume of challenges arising from the current war. Nonetheless, he said the agencies should do the needful so as to remain on top of its game.
“If you were the one in charge of fighting corruption, you would have even been shocked by the scale of the problem. I guess part of the problem we have is that the scale of the problem far outweighs the anticipation of the agencies. So, if care is not taken, we may not get things right in the process. They will have to keep their heads level to be able to be in charge of the fight and to do it effectively.”