Slow prosecution of looters frustrating, says Buhari
Nigeria’s President Muhammad Buhari said one of his major frustration as the president of the country is the slow prosecution of looters.
“My frustration is that we cannot move faster in prosecution. We made some progress we recovered a number of fixed assets many in banks including in Europe and America,” Buhari said on Monday during a special interview on Nigerian Television Authority(NTA).
“But under this system, you can’t be too much in a hurry even though it includes using whistleblowers, you have to go to the police, the police to go through the rigmarole of investigation before prosecution. This is my biggest frustration really,” he added.
The president said this slow process is one of the factors delaying the reinvestment of the recovered funds in the Nigerian economy.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission made a high-profile recovery after the administration’s whistle-blower policy came to force in late 2016.
Several members of opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who served in the Goodluck Jonathan administration or participated in the re-election bid of the former president have been arrested with various amounts allegedly recovered from them.
Anti-graft detectives had also announced recoveries of cash hauls, sometimes in millions of dollars, from homes of former administration officials and even security agencies.
EFCC’s Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, has regularly touted his agency’s success in the fight against corruption, especially on confiscation of ill-gotten wealth from public coffers.
Buhari also confirmed the retrieval of the looted funds during his acceptance speech after he clinched the ruling All Progressives Congress presidential ticket on October 7, 2018, that his administration has been spending the recovered money lost to graft on the country’s infrastructural structure.
“We are attacking corruption head-on. With international support we are recovering Nigerian stolen assets and applying them to infrastructural developments,” Buhari said.