Posted by News Express | 21 October 2017 | 1,129 times
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has given the Federal Government not fewer than 14 days to publish the names of suspected looters.
The deadline issued by the Non-Governmental Organisation is a sequel to a judgment of a Federal High Court in Lagos, ordering the government to release information to Nigerians, the names of high ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered.
Following the judgement, however, President Muhammadu Buhari directed all relevant agencies to swing into action, according to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abukabar Malami.
The AG, had while receiving a delegation of SERAP in his Abuja office, revealed the presidential directive in ensuring there was total compliance to the court’s verdict.
He said, “President Muhammadu Buhari has directed all relevant agencies to compile documents on names of all looters with a view to promptly enforcing the judgment of a Federal High Court in Lagos ordering the government to release to Nigerians information about the names of high ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered.”
But in a swift reaction, SERAP’S Executive Director, Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, expressed his firm belief that if the judgement was effectively enforced, it would show this administration’s commitment to the fight against corruption.
He added, “We had a very productive meeting with Mr Malami, discussing among other critical issues the need for the government to obey the judgment delivered in July by Hon Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari following a Freedom of Information suit number: FHC/CS/964/2016 brought by SERAP.
“We hope that the implementation of the judgment will now happen sooner rather than later. We believe that effectively implementing the judgment will be a victory for the rule of law, show the way forward in the fight against corruption and impunity of perpetrators in the country, as well as demonstrate Buhari’s oft-repeated commitment to tackling the problem of grand corruption.”
The group’s boss further said that the verdict was a victory for the rule of law, hence showing the way forward in the fight against corruption.
It would be recalled that the SERAP suit followed disclosure last year by the Federal Government of funds recovered from some high-ranking public officials and private individuals.
In her judgment delivered in July 2017, Justice Shagari agreed with SERAP, while stressing the need for the Federal Government to fulfil its duty of informing Nigerians of the country’s looters.
“The Federal Government has legally binding obligations to tell Nigerians the names of all suspected looters of the public treasury past and present,” she added.
The ruling follows an earlier suit filed by the group, against the FG, as contained in a statement made available to Channels Television on Thursday. (Channels TV)
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