The Federal Government, Wednesday, agreed it would publish the names of treasury looters as ordered by the Federal High court in Lagos today so Nigerians can see.
Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council meeting. According Malami, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government totally agrees with the ruling of the court and hence, will carry out the order as long as it does not amount to violation of the rules of the court.
Recall that the Hon Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari-led Lagos Federal High Court had, in a ruling, ordered the Federal Government to “immediately release to Nigerians information about the names of high ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered and the circumstances under which funds were recovered, as well as the exact amount of funds recovered from each public official.”
The judgement followed a Freedom of Information suit number: FHC/CS/964/2016 brought by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) against the Federal Government.
Timothy Adewale, SERAP deputy director who argued the case on behalf of SERAP and was in court this morning when the judgment was delivered said “This is a victory for justice, rule of law, transparency and accountability in this country. The judgment shows the way forward in the fight against corruption and impunity of perpetrators.
We will do everything within the law to ensure full compliance by President Mohammadu Buhari and Acting President Osinbajo with this landmark judgment. It would be recalled that the Ministry of Information last year published details of the recoveries, which showed that the Nigerian government successfully retrieved total cash amount N78,325,354,631.82, $185,119,584.61, £3,508,355.46 and €11, 250 between May 29, 2015 and May 25, 2016.
Also released were recoveries under interim forfeiture, which were a combination of cash and assets, during the same period: N126,563,481,095.43, $9,090,243,920.15, £2,484,447.55 and €303,399.17. Anticipated repatriation from foreign countries totalled: $321,316,726.1, £6,900,000 and €11,826.11. The ministry also announced that 239 non-cash recoveries were made during the one-year period. The non-cash recoveries are – farmlands, plots of land, uncompleted buildings, completed buildings, vehicles and maritime vessels.