CORRUPTION: 55 Politicians, Public Officers Stole N1.354trn Within 7 Years - Report
Where are these people going with these monies that they steal?
Nigeria is bleeding badly, with its treasury getting ripped by political office holders and other public office holders.
The depth of this looting of public fund is now made public and within a seven-year period that a report covered, the nation lost 1.354 trillion Naira.
A new report by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) made the revelation, on how “55 politicians, high-level public officials and leaders allegedly stole 1.354 trillion Naira between 2006 and 2013 from the nation’s treasury”.
The stealing has not even stopped, the report highlighted.
"The amount of money embezzled, misappropriated or stolen by public officials and leaders in the private between 2013 and 2017 has galloped beyond the contemplation of average Nigerians.
"Evidence abound that Judges, judicial officers, lawyers and military officers are participants in the frenzy of despoliation of national wealth.”
The 112 pages report launched on Wednesday at the CITI-HEIGHT Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos is entitled: “Letting the Big Fish Swim” and it highlights How Those Accused of High-Level Corruption are Getting away with their Crimes and Profiting from Nigeria’s Legacy of Impunity.
The report presented to the media by Dr. Esa Onoja, a Senior Lecturer of Law, Litigation and Professional ethics at the Nigerian Law School, Abuja Campus discloses that “while the main anti-corruption agencies secured more than 1,500 non-high-profile convictions between 2000 to 2017, they could only muster 10 high profile convictions between the periods”.
According to the report, “in the investigation, prosecution and trial of high profile corruption cases in Nigeria, justice is imprisoned by snares contrived by actors in the legal community in aid of looters”.
It listed “high profile cases of corruption prosecuted by anti-corruption agencies between 2000 and 2017 as numbering 177 out of which 167 are pending".
"Total convictions are just 10.
"Out of the 10, only three convictions were obtained after full trial while seven convictions were based on plea bargaining. Yet one of the three convictions based on Full trial was discharged by the Supreme Court while three of the seven convicted were granted Presidential pardon”.
The report launch chaired by Oladayo Olaide, Deputy Director Macarthur Foundation had in attendance human rights lawyer Femi Falana; Babatunde Ogala; Mrs Juliet Ibekaku- Special Assistant to the President on anti-corruption and Coordinator of the Open Partnership Government; Chinedu Nwagu, Trust Africa and Mr Joy Esezebor of Ford Foundation.
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Others are David Ukagwu Head, DFID South-West Regional Coordinator; Wahab Shittu; former NBA Chairman, Lagos Mr Martin Ogunleye; Miss Jennifer Ogbechi representing Mrs Mariam Uwais; Mr Collins Okeke, representing Dr.Olisa Agbakoba; the media, civil society groups and representatives of anti-corruption agencies.
All the participants expressed commitment to ensuring the full implementation of the recommendations contained in the report.