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May 21, 2018

Looting and whistle blowing Policy

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Those who fought for Nigeria’s political independence had a dream of a country where tribe and tongue will not count and where no man shall be oppressed. It was with pride, and great sense of nationalism and patriotism that they looked forward to a country that will stand shoulder to shoulder with other nation states. Theirs was a dream of building a country where corruption and its attendant vices, are banished; a country where human life is sacred and respected, and where the rights of the individual are protected.

But alas what we have today as a nation is a failed state, a dashed hope just because of one reason: Corruption.

One aspect of corruption that has rocked the fabrics of this nation is looting. A situation where individuals entrusted with the responsibility of governance either at the federal or state level, rape the system. They corner money and resources meant for projects and other purposes for their personal use. They loot and stash them away in their personal banks, often in foreign countries. These foreign countries habour and protect stolen money from Nigeria and other African countries.

It is no longer news that this nation is plundered and mercilessly raped by those entrusted to make it grow and develop like other countries. This is aided by lack of accountability and fiscal recklessness in the management of the country’s resources. Politicians were actively helped by civil servants who disregarded financial and administrative instructions and procedures in their dealings and transactions.

The huge, staggering and unimaginable sums of money being found to have been stolen by those who were in government or served the government in different capacities explains how serious the problem is.

Nigeria has had a history of its leaders looting its resources. This makes one conclude that their purpose of aspiring to such positions is stealing and amassing wealth. We know our political leaders often dip their hands in our ‘pot of soup’ but we never knew the proportion until the case of the Abacha loot. Sad to know that, 19 years after his death, the country is yet to get up to 10 per cent of the money he allegedly stole.

Our politicians steal so much because they are selfish; they can’t be trusted with money. They loot because of their sense of insecurity. They are not sure what will become of the country tomorrow, and for them stealing is a way of securing their future and that of their families. Often one is shaken by the staggering amount we hear that is looted. This shows our politicians are very greedy.

Different governments have made efforts to recover looted funds by our politicians, but one unfortunate reality is that the recovered looted funds are re-looted by sitting governments and there are no accounts or trace of them. Funny enough, while incumbent governments are talking about corruption and looting, such practices seem to be taking place in the same governments, just because there are no checks and balances to track and checkmate the kleptomaniac officials in government.

We commend the Federal Government current policy of whistle blowing as a method of discovering and recovering looted funds. Piles of money, local and foreign currencies are being recovered. The policy has made us realize few facts: the mind-sets of the criminals. Now we know they build underground bunkers and bury their loot. Many go as far as burying the huge sums of money in grave yards. You can imagine how far Nigerians can go. Just to conceal their crimes.

The whistle blowing policy rewards whoever gives credible information to the Federal Government towards the discovery / recovery of stolen funds. This policy obviously is working as huge sums of money are being recovered.

Not long ago it was reported that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) discovered $43.4 million in various denominations in an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos, The legitimate ownership of the funds has continued to generate arguments.

We therefore urge the Federal Government not to hide these criminals, no matter who they are. They must be named and shamed.

 


 

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