- The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) expresses concern over the alleged refusal to release the third batch of the looters' list
- CACOL believes that the silence on the list and alleged refusal to prosecute some indicted persons may encourage corruption
- It recalls how Jacob Zuma of South Africa is being prosecuted just one month after he was forced out as president
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has expressed concern over the alleged silence on the federal government much-awaited third and comprehensive batch of the list of suspected looters in Nigeria as promised recently.
The government had reportedly promised that a more comprehensive list of alleged looters under the government of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should be expected.
A statement by CACOL quoted its head, Debo Adeniran, as saying he was worried over the “unstated reasons for the federal government’s delay in carrying out expected actions against these alleged economic ravagers as well as the sudden but loud silence on the release of the elaborately advertised and much awaited third looters’ list.”
He noted that while the federal government revealed that the awaited list promised to be more comprehensive and holistic, containing more names than the two lists previously released, it is yet to carry out any feasible action whatsoever in respect of curtailing the issue of treasury looting.
“As much as we recognise and commend the efforts of the government in exposing the alleged engineers of socio-political rot that has irredeemably handicapped the economy of Nigeria and put posterity in a web of endless debts, CACOL does not subscribe to the apparent showcase of negligence by the federal government in taking required steps towards due-diligence investigating, prosecuting and convicting these alleged corrupt lots with maximum deterrent punishments.
“That in just one month from the resignation of the ex-President Jacob Zuma, trials have been instituted against him and one can see clearly, by the sheer weight of the charges preferred, that his prosecutors meant serious business.
“This is a graphic index of a system truly committed to fighting corruption hands down.”
According Adeniran, “releasing names will not fight corruption, diligent trials and deterrent convictions will.”
Adeniran also suggested that just as NEMA suspended its board of directors on allegations of corruption, all those who are currently serving in public offices and are on the list, be put on suspension pending when they are tried and convicted if found guilty.
“If we are ever going to take more than tottering steps on our desire for holistic anti-corruption struggles then all those who have their names on any of the lists as alleged looters should take required steps in proving that they are not guilty as perceived as this would go a long way in encouraging transparency and efficiency in governance while also improving the trust citizens have for our elected leaders, the justice system, the Government, and the country at large.
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“The organisation advisedly calls that the federal government and all anti-corruption outfits to take a cue from other African countries who are making major conquest against the corruption confrontation and surge past the phase of just listing names as this is beginning to nettle the tenacity of making the list. These crimes are severe and should not be handled with laxity,” Adeniran said.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that the federal government on Friday, March 30, and through Lai Mohammed, released a list of some of those who have been accused of looting the nation’s treasury under the administration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
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