- The recently released looters' list by the federal government has been criticised by Transparency International
- TI said it has reservations about the decision to publish the names close to election period
- It also agreed with some Nigerians who claimed the list was one sided
Transparency International has faulted the recently released looters by the federal government, insisting the list is not complete until members of ruling All Peoples Congress are included.
Musa Rafsanjani, head of Transparency International in Nigeria and director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, said this in an interview with Punch.
Rafsanjani said he has reservations about the decision to publish the names close to election period.
"Absolutely, I don’t think there is anything wrong in publishing names of people that have actually looted the resources of the country. They have plunged us into the misery we now find ourselves. If these persons were investigated and found to have committed that offence, it was right for their names to be disclosed.
"However, I have my reservations about the decision to publish their names. First, why has it taken the federal government so long to publish the names? The names were published months to the election season and the first interpretation Nigerians gave to the scenario was that it was a political witch-hunt.
"Another issue is that the list is not comprehensive. The government did not include members of the ruling party being investigated for corruption. Therefore, people are likely to, again, give the list a political interpretation. When the people have this feeling, the effect the Federal Government expected the disclosure to have is already lost.
"For me, the timing of the list is not appropriate and the list is not comprehensive. We know that in Nigeria, there are lots of people who have also looted this country at the local and state government levels. Last year, I know that there was a court ruling mandating the Federal Government to publish the names of the looters. But the government did not immediately do that. The government must revisit the list and see that it includes those persons from its own political party also," he said.
Going further, he agreed with some Nigerians who claimed the list was one sided.
"Some of these people have confessed and they have even promised to return the looted funds. The only thing is that the Federal Government must not allow political considerations in the compilation of and investigation into people who looted the country’s treasury. This is a very important national task that should not be mixed with politics.
"I think, like the court has ruled, the government must bring out a comprehensive list of the looters. The government must be sincere in its identification of the looters. The government must not allow these officials to hide under their party.
"There are even some looters who neither belong to the Peoples Democratic Party nor to the All Progressives Congress; they are civil servants. This is why the government must not be found playing politics with its investigations into the loot. But whatever the case, anyone who has looted this country must not be allowed to go scot-free. Otherwise, the very important work of sanitising the country will be watered down," he said.
NAIJ.com had reported that the federal government, on Sunday, April 1, released more names of people who have allegedly looted the nation’s treasury.
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