Looters’ List: The Joke Behind The Row
The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed amused me when he described the first list of alleged looters’ list as a teaser.
And when he released the second list, I was more disappointed. The list contains the names of the people that are being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
I have thought that Mohammed would open a new can of worms but he did not. Neither did he keep us in suspense in this new movie.
He read to us names of Peoples Democratic Party’s chieftains who worked with the former President Goodluck Jonathan and how much they collected from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki.
The $2.1 billion arms scam by the past administration was a deal that actually exposed the scandal in Jonathan’s administration in which public funds meant for security purpose was squandered on electioneering campaign.
Almost all the PDP chieftains, including Jonathan’s allies, got shares of the public funds. But it must be noted that there are thousands of political office holders and public servants that are involved in grave corruption that has plundered the country’s economy over the years.
After three years of fighting corruption, Buhari’s government released a list containing 28 names of alleged looters and all of them from an opposition party.
They are all politicians, except a ranked civil servant whom this government sees as a stooge of the PDP political elites.
Yes, these alleged looters, which include past governors, ministers and civil servants are being investigated by EFCC but not yet convicted by the court of law.
I was looking for the former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu on the list but could not find it. He has a case of money laundering with the EFCC. I searched for the former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro whose property and vehicles were seized by EFFC over alleged fraud but could not see it there.
I could not see Abdurasheed Maina, the former Chairman of the Presidential Pension Reform Team who was alleged of corruption and declared wanted by EFCC. Maina was later smuggled back into Buhari’s government by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Though the president had sacked him, one would have expected Mohammed to include such personality. Maina still has a case with EFCC and if it is the anti-graft agency that supplied the looters’ names, Maina ought to be prominent on the list.
The list was silent on the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, one of Buhari’s cabinet member, Engr. Babachir Lawal who was alleged to have diverted over N200 billion to his personal business.
The money was meant for the welfare of the Internally Displaced Persons but the SGF converted it for grass cutting project. The money was eventually traced to his company’s account.
Why are these not on the list? It is because they now belong to the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Possibly the best way to escape being tagged as a looter is to join APC.
He was investigated, found to be guilty and dismissed from service, yet he was not mentioned among the alleged looters. Perhaps that is why one of the alleged person and former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has described the list as a sham.
He said that the list of the real looters should include that of the former Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and his counterpart for Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi who bankrolled Buhari’s 2015 election with their states money.
Fani-Kayode was alleged to have collected over N800 million from ONSA. He denied looting the public treasury but claimed that what he collected was meant for Jonathan’s campaign and he spent it judiciously for the purpose.