Why I’m selling off recovered assets, by Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday that the world is waiting to see if the Presidents coming after him will return the loots and assets being recovered by his administration from those who looted the treasury.
He noted that stolen assets seized from looters under his military rule were returned to them when he was ousted in 1983.
Buhari said his administration is selling off assets recovered from looters and putting the money in the government coffers to forestall what happened in the past.
The President was responding to a question on Nigeria’s anti-graft battle during a joint press conference at the end of Namibian President Hage Geingob’s visit to the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said: “We are pursuing people who have declared assets. But we find out that they have much more than they have declared. We follow them through their bank accounts to the companies they formed to the contracts they got
“Sometimes, they swear to Almighty God that their structure that cannot develop feet and run away does not belong to them. Then they are confronted with their bank accounts.
“Again, using my experiences when I was arrested and detained, people were given back what they have appropriated. This time around, I said we are going to sell them and put the money into the treasury and I will see whoever comes after that will have the courage to take money from the treasury and give to anybody.
“So, we are winning, but it’s very difficult under this multi-party democracy system. And we are getting the cooperation of countries. We are trying to sell the assets wherever we find them and bring the money into the Nigerian treasury.”
Buhari said his administration would soon reorganise the nation’s judiciary to ensure effective fight against corruption in the country.
He said: “We are going to dedicate some judges to deal with corruption cases and try to put forward and prosecute all those that investigations proved that they have questions to answer.
“So that is what I’m telling you that we haven’t given up; we are doing our best and we will recover as much as humanly possible.”
Geingob thanked Nigerian government for his support and assistance to Namibia via the deployment of Nigerian volunteers under the Technical Aid Corps.
He said he came to Nigeria to pay his last respect to the late Prof. Adebayo Adedeji, who he described as his mentor.
Adedeji, onetime Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission of Africa, who died on April 25 at the age of 87, will be buried on Saturday.
Geingob congratulated Buhari for his efforts in dealing with corruption in Nigeria and beyond.
He lamented that corruption in Africa was becoming a serious case and hence strong people like Buhari were needed to tackle the social ill.
He noted that Buhari had taken steps towards fighting corruption in Nigeria and was worthy of emulation by his country.
“He (Buhari) is taking steps that will encourage all of us. I declared war against poverty and corruption,” the Namibian president said.