They may have imagined their dealings were guided by none disclosure agreements but the judiciary think otherwise.

Nigerians want information to flow freely especially when 'big men thieves are involved'.

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the Federal Government to immediately release to Nigerians information about the names of high-ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered and the circumstances under which funds were retrieved.

The court also ordered the government to release the exact amount of funds recovered from each public official.

The judgment was delivered on Wednesday by Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari following a Freedom of Information suit brought by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

The suit followed  the disclosure by the government in 2016 of funds recovered from some high-ranking public officials and private individuals.

In her judgment Justice Shagari agreed with SERAP that “the Federal Government has a legally binding obligations to tell Nigerians the names of all suspected looters of the public treasury past and present.”

Joined as defendants in the suit are the Minister of Information, Lai Muhammed and the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.

It would be recalled that the Ministry of Information recently published details of the recoveries, which showed that the Nigerian government successfully retrieved total cash amount N78,325,354,631.82, $185,119,584.61, £3,508,355.46 and €11, 250 between May 29, 2015 and May 25, 2016.

Also released were recoveries under interim forfeiture, which were a combination of cash and assets, during the same period: N126,563,481,095.43, $9,090,243,920.15, £2,484,447.55 and €303,399.17.

Anticipated repatriation from foreign countries totaled: $321,316,726.1, £6,900,000 and €11,826.11.

The ministry also announced that 239 non-cash recoveries were made during the one-year period. The non-cash recoveries include – farmlands, plots of land, uncompleted buildings, completed buildings, vehicles and maritime.