- Governor David Umahi has called on the federal government to grant amnesty to public officers holders accused of looting
- Umahi said the approach would go a long way in the recovery of funds if it is implemented
- He, however, commended the federal government for its efforts to fight against corruption
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi on Monday, September 3, called on the federal government to grant amnesty to political office holders accused of looting the nation’s treasury.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Umahi made the call in Abakaliki when he declared open the anti-corruption, ethics and integrity training organised by Anti Corruption Academy of Nigeria for local government officials in Ebonyi.
He expressed concern over the number of unresolved corruption cases and blamed the development on “wrong approach” by various anti-graft agencies.
According to him, “Ebonyi is determined to inaugurate an anti-corruption office because corruption remains the bane of Nigeria’s underdevelopment. The federal government should, however, be commended for its visible efforts in the fight against corruption in the country.”
The governor charged the anti-graft agencies to be resolute and firm in the discharge of their duties and resist political manipulation.
He said granting amnesty to individuals facing corruption charges would enable the government to recover stolen funds. He added that the fear of the anti-corruption agencies had sent several treasury looters into hiding their loot.
The governor said: “We have so much of the looted funds either trapped in foreign banks, buried at cemeteries or underground and destroyed by termites.”
He advised the federal government to negotiate with suspects to enable them to surrender at least 70 per cent of the looted funds or invest the entire loot in the country.
The governor said the training was designed to enlighten participants on the most effective way to fight corruption and ensure the overall development of the state.
A representative of the acting chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, Rose Okoduwa, said the training was intended to bring the anti-graft crusade closer to the grassroots.
He said: “We intend using the local government officials as vehicles of social re-engineering. This will help to ensure that democracy dividend gets to the grassroots.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had reported that Alhaji Lai Mohammed, minister of Information and Culture who released the list claimed that those complaining that the list was too short did not understand that it was strategically released as a teaser.
Releasing the fresh list of alleged looters, in a statement issued in Lagos, the minister also said those complaining that the list was too short apparently did not understand that it was strategically released as a teaser.
He said: "At the press conference where the list was released, I did say it was a tip of the iceberg. Apparently, this does not mean anything to people whose style is to comment on issues they barely understand, or just to shoot down anything coming from the government.”
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