The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III on Tuesday urged the Federal government to explain to Nigerians how much loots it had recovered and what they were being used for.
He spoke in Sokoto at the zonal dialogue with stakeholders on the National Ethics and Integrity Policy, organized by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, in collaboration with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission for the northwest zone.
The Sultan, represented by the Wazirin Sokoto, Prof. Sambo Wali Junaidu, said keeping mute on the recovered loots would spell doom for the fight against corruption in the country.
“The government owes Nigerians an explanation, we want to know how much billions of naira was recovered from our past leaders. Where the monies are and what are they doing with them?
“This explanation is necessary considering the state of our education and other infrastructure like roads which need serious government attention,” he said
He said the founders of the Sokoto Caliphate had written many books on corruption and how it could be addressed using Islamic ways.
The Sultan urged Nigerian leaders to obtain copies of those books in order to be guided in getting to tackling corruption.
The zonal head of ICPC in charge of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States, Ibrahim Alkali said the national ethics and integrity policy was a child of necessity as “it was conceived and delivered out of the urgent need to resuscitate and rejuvenate our lost values of honesty and integrity as a nation.”
Recovered assets constitute budgetary item — Malami
Also on Tuesday, the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating the status of all recovered loots, movable and immovable assets from 2002 to 2020 demanded the details of the accounts of the recovered loots from the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who also appeared before the committee, said: “All these assets as recovered are indeed lodged with the CBN Account on Assets Recovery and the receipts of the amounts have been confirmed by the CBN.
“Recovered assets have constituted budgetary item that has been appropriated by the NASS and among other monies.”
Malami said the government the government had recorded some modest achievements regarding asset recoveries.
He said: “In that respect, we had succeeded in December 2017 to recover $322m from Switzerland. That asset recovered is known as Abacha loot.
“Again in May 2020, we succeeded in recovering $311, 797, 866.11 from the Island of Jersey and indeed UK. In October 2020, we recovered 5, 494, 743.71 Euros from the Republic of Northern Ireland in Nigeria known as Abacha Loot. And of recent, we succeeded in May 2021 in recovering £4. 214, 017 from UK known as Ibori loot.”
He said there were multiple dimensions to the status of recovered assets, both foreign and local.