I will consider amnesty for looters, says Atiku
The People’s Democratic Party’s Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said he will consider granting amnesty to looters willing to return the stolen public funds.
Speaking on Wednesday at a town hall programme, ‘The Candidates’, the former vice president said the recovered loot will help develop Nigeria’s economy.
The host of the programme, Kadaria Ahmed asked: “Will you consider amnesty to people who have corruption cases and say bring some money and we will go on from there?”
Atiku in his response said amnesty will be considered while citing its success in Turkey. He explained that the need for expedited action in development and the delay in the justice system makes the amnesty deal a wise choice.
“Why not? It worked for Turkey. Turkey gave amnesty and all the money abroad came back. The government said that if you bring the money, there is not even taxation. We want you to invest in manufacturing, technology and real estate. Look at Turkey today. It’s like any other European countries in terms of development. They drew a line. Why not, we can consider it.”
He argued that the delay in the judicial system might precipitate a law review involving the National Assembly and the judiciary.
“I believe there will be need for dialogue between the various branches of government. We are at a crisis point in this country in the issue of fight against corruption. We can’t afford delay. Before we review our procedures and laws, I think there is need we do something immediately. Then, I believe everybody will understand if you really intend to fight corruption.
“There is too much delay in the judicial system. If we can shorten the delay so that justice can be done quickly, the better.
“The National Assembly and the judiciary should deliberate on the ways out.”
Atiku gave a further example of how himself and some other members of the government under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo recovered $4 billion without prosecuting the looters.
“There was a recovery panel set up by President Obasanjo under my chairmanship, the attorney general and the national security adviser. By calling various people who have been alleged to have stolen money, we recovered over $4 billion which we paid back into the treasury.
“If you are to prosecute these people, up till now, you will still be prosecuting them.”
Atiku and his running mate Peter Obi were in consonance over the matter as the former Anambra state governor chimed in to support Atiku’s point.
Obi said, “Is it not better to have an amnesty to bring money and use the money to create jobs than for looters to join another party and it becomes a safe haven and you can keep the money?.”
The PDP in 2018, had boasted that Atiku’s tenure will fight corruption, prosecute corrupt government officials and lock looters away in jail, however his current stance on looters represents a major conflict.
“The rebranded PDP assures Nigerians that all those looting the national treasury, including those now enjoying President Buhari’s official cover, will definitely face the wrath of the law and go to jail because the Atiku Abubakar administration will not only fight poverty but will also uncompromisingly fight corruption.”
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