As he wrapped up his four-day visit to the United States as Obama’s guest, President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday July 22 confirmed that he had received some documents that indicted some ministers in former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. He said they would be treated as the thieves are.
He promised that the thieving ministers would be prosecuted, their loot would be traced to the various foreign accounts into which they laundered money and the proceeds of fraud would be legally repatriated back to government coffers.
Speaking to Nigerians in Washington DC as part of his official visit to the US, Buhari said: “Some former ministers were selling about one million barrels per day. I assure you that we will trace and repatriate such money and use the documents to prosecute them. A lot of damage has been done to the integrity of Nigeria with individuals and institutions already compromised.
“We are now looking for evidences of shipping some of our crude, their destinations and where and which accounts they were paid and in which country. When we get as much as we can get as soon as possible, we will approach those countries to freeze those accounts and go to court, prosecute those people.
“I assure you that whichever documents we are able to get and subsequently trace the sale of the crude or transfer of money from ministries, departments, Central Bank, we will ask for the cooperation of those countries to return those monies to the federation accounts. And we will use those documents to arrest those people and prosecute them. This I promise Nigerians.”
The questions now are: Which Jonathan ministers’ heads will roll first? With its spate of botched court trials, can EFCC as presently constituted be trusted with the seriousness of Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign?
Well, if Buhari made a sweeping change of military chiefs in order to reorganize Nigeria’s security capabilities first for an effective win against insurgency, then he must sack the leadership of those anti-corruption agencies that have been toothless bulldogs for so very long unless for once they stop barking and start biting by winning big cases in court.
Next, Buhari needs a refurbished judiciary, especially corruption-free judges at all levels, if his anti-corruption campaign is to succeed in record time.