President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed that those who looted the nation’s treasury during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan have voluntarily started returning the funds.
Buhari revealed this in Tehran, Iran, on Tuesday 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.
According to the president, the looters’ day of reckoning is near as they will be formally prosecuted when necessary documents are obtained.
“When we get those documents, we will formally charge them to court, and then we will tell Nigerians to know those who abused trust when they were entrusted with public funds. So, the day of reckoning is gradually approaching”, he stated.
The president also explained that the dictates of rule of law and due process had decelerated the process of prosecuting corrupt officials in the current administration.
He said this was unlike in 1985 when it was easy for him, as a military head of state, to arrest and put alleged corrupt officials in protective custody for them to prove their innocence.
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.
“I believe if you’re in touch back at home, you would have been told that already there is some improvement in power. We haven’t said anything to them yet. I think they only find it sensible or appropriate for them to try and improve the power. I am sure you know about the privatisation of the power sector; your old friends, NEPA or Power Holding Company of Nigeria, have been sold to a number of interest groups.
“But, the fundamental thing about us is that we remain potential in everything except performance. We have a lot of gas, we have a lot of qualified people; but again, we have a lot of saboteurs who go and blow installations. Those who normally steal Nigerian crude and those who blow up installations, whether they call themselves militants or whatever, they are still there”, Buhari stated.
The president, reiterated his government’s commitment to reviving the education sector, pledged to ensure more Nigerians are sent to Iran on scholarship owing to discipline and orderliness in that country.
On the current security challenge in Nigeria, President Buhari reassured of his government’s determination to end the Boko Haram insurgency.
Earlier in his remarks, the Nigerian Chargé d’affaires in Iran, Dr Ali Magashi, had told President Buhari that Nigerians in that country were law-abiding.
The chargé d’affaires, however, explained that few Nigerians currently in Iranian prisons were drugs couriers who attempted to smuggle banned substances into the country from Afghanistan.
Read more at http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/news/buhari-jonathan-s-men-now-returning-loots/120985.html#TD8gpkTfbHPdkUeS.99