Nigerian govt sets conditions for publishing names of looters

Abubakar Malami
Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami PHOTO: Daily Trust

The Buhari administration on Wednesday identified some issues that must be clarified before details of suspected looters of the country’s treasury could be disclosed.

Asked about the administration’s commitment to publishing names of those from whom various amounts were recovered since the administration came onboard two years ago, Attorney-General Abubakar Malami said the government remained committed to unmasking such individuals, but would only do so after all legal concerns had been addressed.

“The disclosure will definitely be made, but it is contingent on reconciliation of associated considerations as they relate to subjudice principles,” Mr. Malami told State House reporters shortly after Federal Executive Council meeting.

Other issues “as they relate to reconciliation and confirmation of figures,” must also be addressed, Mr. Malami said.

Once the stated issues have been resolved, the government will commence piecemeal disclosure of the names of the suspects, Mr. Malami added.

The comments came hours after a court in Lagos ordered the federal government to “immediately” publish personal details of those that law enforcement agencies have recovered funds from since President Muhammadu Buhari launched his anti-corruption war shortly after assuming office.

“The Federal Government has a legally binding obligation to tell Nigerians the names of all suspected looters of the public treasury past and present,” the presiding judge, Hadiza Shagari, said in suit number: FHC/CS/964/2016.

The order was secured by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, following a Freedom of Information suit.

The group said it filed the suit after the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, turned down its FoI requests for details of those that returned cash and other assets to federal coffers.

Details of the recoveries published June 2016 showed that the Nigerian government retrieved total cash amount of N78,325,354,631.82, $185,119,584.61, £3,508,355.46 and €11, 250 between May 29, 2015 and May 25, 2016.

Also released were recoveries under interim forfeiture, which were a combination of cash and assets, during the same period: N126,563,481,095.43, $9,090,243,920.15, £2,484,447.55 and €303,399.17.

Anticipated repatriation from foreign countries totaled: $321,316,726.1, £6,900,000 and €11,826.11.

The government also announced that 239 non-cash recoveries were made during the one-year period. The non-cash recoveries are – farmlands, plots of land, uncompleted buildings, completed buildings, vehicles and maritime vessels, the ministry said.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had announced other major recoveries since the publication, including more than $9 million recovered from Andrew Yakubu, a former head of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

The disclosure followed months of intense criticism and pressure the citizens who accused the president of failing to fulfil his promise to disclose names of suspects and their loot.

In his response to State House correspondents, Mr. Malami said the government subscribes to the spirit of Freedom of Information Act, and has the “responsibility” to obey requests arising from it.

“But we have to take into account and consideration, the fact that there are some factors that have to be considered as far as making these disclosures are concerned,” Mr. Malami insisted.


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  • Mike Onokan

    Interesting times. Mr. Malami needs to tell Nigerians what his personal interest is in this war against corruption. I think he is not acting in the overall interest of the Nigerian people. Malami is giving the impression that certain individuals who has rendered this country prostrate by their blind looting are more important than the Nigerian people. One can see why things are the way they are in the country. Well, the catastrophic consequences of the path we are treading is bound to consume all of us, including you, Mr. Malami. The situation is poignant. The horizon is boiling dangerously. Danger is imminent. Shall our GREED AND SELFISHNESS lead this nation to TOTAL DESTRUCTION? The answer my friends, is blowing in the air.

  • sheyman

    Malami is one of the worst appointees of the president. Buhari’s appointments were based on paybacks to his presidential victory, hence they owe him less dedication of service to public interest. A situation where appointees oppose executive decisions such as conflicting opinion of malami with the president/acting president over magu is sad. If God says buhari is the messiah, the handwork of men may not make it come to pass. God won’t do what men should do. It’s well.

    • George

      You people just know now that they have reduced your tribe tokenism vp to coordinator.

  • We must start with your name.

    • Dandelion

      @sheyman:disqus

      Letter to Attorney General Abubakar Malami

      You are hilarious. You thrown in even the kitchen sink to fit into the oversize role of attorney-general.
      Your verbiage makes people laugh or hiss. You can afford to be less ridiculous. The simple thing you
      were told to do is list the names of those who looted the treasury and from whom cash was forfeited.

      To slyly evade that simplest of tasks sounding in honesty you brace for Longman’s dictionary for
      obfuscatory platitudes. Rather than just do as ordered by the High Court you said that you’re still
      awaiting “..reconciliation of associated considerations as they relate to subjudice principles

      What does your utterance mean in English language? It has no meaning! You just strung words
      inaptly and quite senselessly and disgraced your English teacher in secondary school. In fact,
      you conveyed to the general public that you are likely inadequately educated to feel a need
      to deceive to flatter with utterly meaningless words conveying nothing.

      • Dandelion

        @sheyman:disqus

        ……(2) Letter to Attorney General Abubakar Malami

        You made yourself a figure of fun, actually, because you sound corrupt, just like Raji Fashola –
        who can’t account for a missing ₦800 billion in Lagos state under his infamously rogue regime
        of thieves. The cash at issue is not yours and so you have an obligatory duty to account for it
        as a trustee. This recovered loot was early on detailed by the smelly and improbable but
        certainly implausible Information Minister, Lai Muhammed, up to the fractions in kobo.
        So, where did Lai Muhamed get his seemingly accurate figures that he disclosed
        to the general public if he didn’t concoct it to look less incompetent?

        Why do you need “associated considerations as they relate to subjudice principles” if truly
        Lai Muhamed were not lying? That question must be answered because you and Lai Muhammed
        can’t be both right. One of you is telling lies. You should look less dubious yourself despite that
        the Buhari government you belong has no reputation at all for honesty after the mis-appointed
        Secretary to Government abandoned common sense and awarded himself ₦250 million as
        public contract to cut the grass at the Refugees Camp with cutlass. Once President Buhari
        thereafter came out to say he saw nothing wrong in law and ethics in that bogus contract
        as self-awarded; and, after Buhari himself set up a bogus handpicked panel to enquire,
        Nigerians wrote off President Buhari as a no-hoper.

      • George

        Who are you fighting for; yeye Osinbajo Yoruba man or the Mallams. relax

  • 0tile

    It is greedy for Imam Mohamed Buhari to still hold tight to Minister of Petroleum when no living person has seen or heard from him in recent times when rumor is wild that Imam Mohamed suffered paralysis. Niger Delta people have suffered staggering loses from Northern cheaters.

    • George

      Relax let the Yorubas and the Mallams sort themselves out first then we will take our oils.

  • Solomon Brown

    Someone tell me this isn’t a joke, why the chief law enforcement official in government would take the position he did should tell Nigerians how inept this government is. What I’m gathering from his statement is worrisome, first you flood the media with stories of how you are dealing with corruption, and then when people start to demand more details, you respond by saying the information isn’t ready for public consumption yet. Who do these folks actually think they are fooling?

    • George

      You supported them from beginning now just angering because you want your brother Osinbajo to take over, NEVER.

      mALAMI is right as they are always right

      • Patriot

        Solomon Brown above makes sense and your response is disappointing. He did not except OSINBAJO from the problem bcos he’s part of the same govt and anytime PMB or the govt is blamed for anything the VP too is inclusive bcos it is a system that works together. So saying his comment is for OSINBAJO to take over is very divisive and it’s wrong in it’s entirety

      • Solomon Brown

        You can do better than trolling George, I’ve never jumped on the APC bandwagon and never will. So get your mind right.

  • George

    Hear him; contingent on reconciliation of associated considerations as they relate to subjudice principles. I SENT IT TO MY LECTURER HE SAID IT MEAN NOTHING.

    These are the people the Yorubas supported to replace GEJ now that they the Yorubas want to use the back door to crab power they want all the attentions.

    May question is Has Mallams ever change, if not, how does Tinubu and his shrine worshipers believe the Mallams will have treated them before they agreed to that evil alliance of 2015.

    OBJ said Anybody is Better Than GEJ so why are some people crying now.

    • abu Saleh

      U sure say dat ur lecturer sabi him work?

  • Gary

    No surprise here that our sleazy AGF is backtracking less than 24 hours after pledging to respect a valid court order.
    Nigerians should ask why a government that came into office to fight corruption has refused to name and shame those who looted our treasury. And quietly made refunds in the dead of night.

    Mr. Malami, can we make an informed guess that your regime granted “amnesty” to mostly folks from your neck of the woods? While making a show of putting the “infidels” and those South of Lokoja on trial?
    It’s nothing new to those of us around when Buhari ran the country in 1984-85. That’s his MO.

  • Fairgame

    Methinks SERAP should as a matter of urgency and in line with the FOI bill also secure a court order to compel presidency to release the names of SPONSORS of Boko haram and the SUICIDE BOMBERS that kill only the poor but never the rich. How come terrorists/suicide bombers who we are told are fighting the state (Nigeria) never attacks Senate session or House of Reps but only the poorest sections of Markets, Motor Parks and Schools attended by mostly the poor? Why? Why??????????????????????

  • Abiola

    lie lai government..

    just be

  • Frank Bassey

    “Attorney-General Abubakar Malami said the government remained committed
    to unmasking such individuals, but would only do so after all legal
    concerns had been addressed.” How then did you arrive at your mouthy campaign of TREASURY LOOTERS which has become a trite in our political lexicon when you have not addressed all legal concerns? Nothing will be published because your lies are no longer impressive.