…Extends Loot Recovery To Yar’adua, Obasanjo Era
President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that those who looted the nation’s treasury
during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan have voluntarily started returning the funds.
Buhari confirmed this in Tehran, Iran, yesterday while fielding questions from members of the Nigerian community there. The president was in Iran for the third summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).
President Buhari noted that but for the needed thorough investigation and evidence that would aid their eventual trial, the looters would have been prosecuted before now.
“On corruption; yes, they (alleged looters) are still innocent. But, we are collecting documents. And some of them have started voluntarily returning something. But we want all,” Buhari said.
Speaking further, President Buhari reminded his audience that his predecessors had sold the power sector to many interest groups.
The president also vowed to clamp down on the saboteurs in the sector and do its best to ensure regular power supply in Nigeria.
Nigerian Chargé d’affaires in Iran, Dr Ali Magashi explained that few Nigerians currently in Iranian prisons were drugs couriers who attempted to smuggle banned substances into the country from Afghanistan.
President Buhari said the federal government was not satisfied with the rate at which past government officials were returning looted funds.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement, quoted Buhari as saying this in Tehran, Iran, yesterday while interacting with the Nigerian Community there.
“We want to have everything back–all that they took by force in 16 years,” the president was quoted to have vowed.
President Buhari says his administration is poised to recover all the funds stolen by past government officials in the last 16 years.
Those who governed the country within that period were former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2007), Umaru Yar’Adua (2007-2010) and Goodluck Jonathan (2010-2015) all on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The presidential spokesman however stated that Buhari revealed that a number of past officials had begun the voluntary return of stolen funds.
Shehu also quoted Buhari as saying that the necessity for compliance with due process and rule of law was responsible for the delay in the prosecution of the looters, but that the “the day of reckoning is gradually coming.”
He said Buhari also stated that the sabotage and theft of gas were undermining the efforts of his government towards increasing power supply in Nigeria.
The president was said to have announced that existing military task-forces would be reorganized to ensure a successful protection of the network of gas pipelines.
President Buhari was also said to have blamed the problem in power supply on the reduced role of the government in the sector due to the privatisation of the institutions under the Power Handling Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in the process of which, he said the facilities “have been sold to a number of interest groups.”
Shehu said Buhari assured that the military task-forces with representation from the Army, Navy, Air Force, the Police and the secret services would be reconstituted to secure the pipelines.