The Nigeria Bar Association has urged the Federal Government to stop allowing looters of public fund to enjoy any part of the loot. It said the fight against corruption would remain a joke if looters were made to pay fine or part of the looted fund.
Delivering a keynote address entitled “Evaluating the Current Anti-corruption Efforts of the Federal Government in Nigeria”, Edo State Chairman of NBA; Barrister Ede Asenoguan said there was no enforcement of stringent sanction against those who looted public funds.
Asenoguan noted that corruption has been fostered in the country when those who looted public funds pay a fragment of the huge sum of money stolen from government coffers and allowed to work on the streets freely without forfeiture and adequate sanctioning. He was speaking at a forum organized by CLEEN Foundation.
His words, “I can assure you that over 80% of Nigerians, if given the chance, would prefer to steal N5b and pay the sum of N5m or to go to jail for six months or one year and later come out to enjoy the balance of the N5b. “The fight against corruption must not be centred on only the influential people in the country but should cut across board regardless of whoever that is involved.”
Head, Public Relations, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, South-South zone, Mr. Oluwale Oladele, said the commission secured a total of 1,500 convictions between 2015-2016. Mr. Oluwale said the EFCC has proven that it is working and proactive owing to the number of persons it has prosecuted. He explained that the commission could only be more effective in its fight against corruption when Nigerians join hands to fight corruption by volunteering information to the body that can lead to the arrest and investigation of individuals.
Project Manager of Budgit, Abayomi Akinbo, noted that the trust and confidence of Nigerians in the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari could only be restored if money recovered from looters are made known to the public.