Buhari, Lai Disappoint Nigerians On Publication Of Stolen Assets

The Thursday deadline, which the federal government set for disclosing detail of recovered assets, has passed without any information.

At the anti-corruption summit in London, President Muhammadu Buhari had promised Nigerians that he will expose those who have stolen the resources of the country.

“So far, what has come out, what has been recovered in whatever currency from each ministries, departments and individuals, I intend on the 29th to speak on this because all Nigerians are getting from the mass media because of the number of people arrested either by the EFCC, DSS. But we want to make a comprehensive report on the 29th,” he had said.

But rather than keep to his words, Buhari transferred the responsibility to Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, during his 15 minutes broadcast.

“The processes of recovery can be tedious and time consuming, but today I can confirm that thus far: significant amount of assets have been recovered. A considerable portion of these are at different stages of recovery. Full details of the status and categories of the assets will now be published by the ministry of information and updated periodically,” the president said in his address.

On his own part, Mohammed said the information would be revealed, but not exactly in the manner the president promised.

“We will get the list but not today; before the end of the week. But I must say not with the names,” he had said when he featured on a programme on live television.

When asked what led to the new decision, he revealed that Buhari was advised against disclosing the identities of looters.

“Yes he initially said so (naming looters). The president said he was going to release the amount recovered and where the recovered assets are, but he was advised against doing so for legal reasons. Of course, he has a right to reverse himself on that.”

Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, was also confident that the list will be out “latest by Thursday”.

“What he (President) said was that the minister of information will be making a pronouncement on this, and this is going to happen when work resumes on Tuesday,” he told Channels Television.

“This is likely going to be out by Wednesday, or latest by Thursday. So nothing has changed from the position that there will be disclosure.

“The president has given the authorisation that these assets that have been taken back from those who took from the treasury be put out there. So my view is that nothing is lost.”

As at the time this report was being filed very late on Thursday, no word had come out from the government regarding the promise.

Nigerians are no doubt counting on the current administration to match its words with action.

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