Recover Stolen Funds, Prosecute Looters, Sanusi Tells Buhari

The Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, has advised the Federal Government not only to recover looted funds from individuals and groups, but should also prosecute culprits to serve as a deterrent to others.

He gave the advice in a lecture he delivered on the deregulation of the downstream oil sector and Nigeria’s economic development at the National Defence College, Abuja on Wednesday.

He called on the Federal Government to ensure that those who looted the nation’s treasury were punished for their actions.

Sanusi said that it was not enough for those who diverted huge amounts of money from the nation’s treasury to be made to return what they stole.

The emir said that the right thing to do was to recover the stolen funds and imprison the culprits to serve as a deterrent to others.

He said that the ongoing campaign against corruption and the intensified onslaught on insurgency demonstrated the government’s commitment to economic development.

The emir stated that the current economic recession facing the country was self-inflicted.

He said that the fact that the economy was in recession should not be a surprise since it was a product of bad policies.

Sanusi said that the country was made bankrupt by unrealistic policies and failure of those in charge of the government over the years to take corrective measures.

He said, “Nigeria is bankrupt; we are bankrupted by a policy that was foolish, that was unrealistic, and unsustainable, and by all means our refusal over the years to listen.

“We are surprised that we have an economic recession; we are actually surprised that we are in recession? We created the recession.”

The former Governor of the CBN, who commented on the issue of the removal of fuel subsidy, said that it was a scam designed to benefit a few in the country.

He faulted the claims that that subsidy was meant to benefit the poor.

The emir said that the country was losing $20m on every 30,000 metric tonnes of kerosene imported into the country.

Credit: Punch

Looters Will Return Their Loots, The Nation Needs The Money – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he was very much home with the suffering of ordinary Nigerians.

 

The president assured that government was taking deliberate steps to improve the lives of citizens.

 

Buhari stated this yesterday when he received the Council of Abuja Imams at the presidential villa, Abuja.

 

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the president told the Imams that his government is acutely aware of challenges of life facing the average citizen.

 

He appealed to Muslim religious leaders to carry the message of hope to the people that things will improve.

 

Buhari also requested religious leaders throughout the country to keep calming the people.

 

“The leadership, at various levels, is trying to solve problems of poverty, unemployment and insecurity bedevilling the country,” the president said. He said the government chose to give priority to agriculture so as to create jobs for unemployed citizens and give the country food security.

 

Buhari noted that although efforts had begun, there was a bigger plan for the provision of fertilizers, insecticides and land preparations starting next year.

He further requested state governments and community leaders across the country to organise the population into cooperative societies, stressing that “extension services, not money will be provided.”

 

The president also addressed the religious leaders on the efforts to improve power supply in the country with on-going efforts to bring foreign investment from China and some friendly countries that indicated willingness in developing the proposed Mambila and other hydroelectric power projects in the country.

 

He assured that the steps the government was carefully taking on the crisis situation in the Niger Delta would lead to long-term peace and stabilise the oil-rich region.

 

On the war against corruption and the Boko Haram terrorism, the president said his government would remain resolute and relentless.

 

“We have no plan to humiliate or embarrass anyone through these actions. We are merely interested in instituting justice and fairness for all,” the president assured.

 

He reiterated that whoever was caught, as having stolen from the public, will be forced to return the loot to the treasury. “The nation needs the money,” he stated.

 

Earlier, the Chairman of Abuja Council of Imams, Dr. Tajudeen Mohammed Bello Adigun, on behalf of the delegation, commended the efforts of the Buhari administration in the war against corruption and terrorism.

MDAs To Benefit From Properties Seized From Looters

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun said the Federal Government plans to relocate some of its Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDA) into some recovered looted properties.

Adeosun said this on Friday in Abuja while briefing newsmen after the Steering Committee of the Efficiency Unit meeting.

The Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers had been advocating for adequate utilisation of confiscated properties.

Adeosun said that the move to relocate the agencies was to reduce waste since these properties were empty and thereby save government from paying rent.

The issuance of price guidelines and initiatives for reducing expenditure on rent on office and residential buildings will be the primary focus areas of the efficiency unit in coming months.

You may want to know that the average annual expenditure on rent for a three year period of 2012 to 2014 was N3.55 billion.

And to achieve that, we are already looking at using properties that were forfeited from recoveries and moving some of our agencies to occupy those properties rather than paying rent,’’ she said.

Adeosun said that the Efficiency unit had already recorded success in cutting government overhead cost in areas such as travels, welfare, honorarium, sitting allowance, training, adverts and publicity as well as refreshments.

Major savings are expected when on-going engagement with the Bureau of Public Procurement on the pooling of MDAs demands for standard products such as vehicles, computers, diesel and others.

We plan to secure large discounts from suppliers and the issuance of Price Guidelines are developed and implemented.

Price Guidelines will ensure uniformity in the price at which MDAs purchase items, as well as transparency and value for money in the procurement process.’’

Adeosun said she was working with the states to ensure that they all established Efficiency Unit since 47.32 per cent of revenue that accrued to the federation goes to the states and local governments.

She enjoined relevant stakeholders to collaborate with the unit to ensure it achievd its mandate of cutting cost and improving the efficiency of government.

Credit: Guardian

Why FG Withheld Names Of Looters – Osinbajo

Releasing the names of persons from whom the Federal Government recovered looted funds and assets may jeopardize ongoing investigations, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has said.

 

Though the government at the weekend released a list of sums of money and assets already recovered in the last one year, names of individuals involved were not included. “We have released the list of recovered loot, we know people are asking for the names, but releasing the names may jeopardize ongoing investigations,” the Vice President said yesterday, at the Presidential Villa during a meeting with a delegation of the European Union led by the EU Ambassador in Nigeria, Mr. Michel Arrion.

 

Osinbajo According to a press release by his Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity Laolu Akande, the Vice President also explained that the federal government is engaging leaders and people of the Niger Delta regarding the spate of attacks on oil installations in the area, an act he stated amounts to economic sabotage. But besides reaching out to the people in the area,

 

But besides reaching out to the people in the area, government is also beefing up security, he said. According to him, the focus of the Buhari presidency “is to ensure that the man on the street in the Niger Delta receives the benefit from all that is available there,” while calling on the leaders in the region to be accountable to the people. Prof. Osinbajo added that government is working round the clock to minimize the losses arising from the attacks, adding that “we are talking, we are ensuring that we minimize losses and we are stepping up security. We are also engaging the international oil companies, IOCs, to see what options exists.” On economic issues, the Vice President restated government’s commitment to drive its diversification policy and encouraged investors from European countries to take advantage of the situation especially in the agro-allied/processing industry.

 

He restated the administration’s resolve to ensure that the ease of doing business ranking in Nigeria goes up by at least 20 steps in the World Bank rating. To this end, he said the President has approved the composition of a Presidential Commission on the matter to be chaired by himself, the VP, and Industry, Trade & Investment Minister, Dr. Okey Enelamah, as Vice Chairman. “In the next few months, we should be seeing some changes,” he promised. Earlier, Ambassador Arrion said he came to hold consultations with the Vice President as a follow-up on President Buhari’s meeting with EU leaders during his visit to the continent, adding that “Nigeria has a huge market we can invest in. It is also a place we can export from.”

Credit: Vanguard

Grant Amnesty To Repentant Looters- SAN

A former Military Administrator of Bauchi and Osun states, Col. Theophilus Bamigboye (retd.); a Senior Advocate  of Nigeria, Mallam Yusuf Ali; and  the Bishop of the Diocese of Kwara, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Dr. Olusegun Adeyemi, on Sunday urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the anti-graft agencies to ensure that the anti-corruption war was not selective.

They also advised him not to spare any corrupt person in the country, irrespective of the person’s political affiliation or status.

 Bamigboye and Ali spoke during interviews with journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, on the sideline of presidential/award luncheon and fund raising of the Rotary Club of Ilorin GRA.

Adeyemi spoke in an interview with journalists during the diocese’s synod at Eiyenkorin, Ilorin.

Ali, who noted that the anti-corruption campaign was going on well, advised the Federal Government to grant amnesty to corrupt people who were willing to return their loot.

He believed that this would make the recovery of stolen money easier.

Ali said, “I agree that the anti-corruption war must be holistic; holistic to the level that even those who have not been caught are tracked down. There should be amnesty; call people who you have found to have taken our money to return the money. What is important to us is how to get the money. Sending people to jail will not translate to money.

“So if you have taken our N20 and you are ready to give back N19, you can keep the N1 and we take the N19, we are still better off.”

Bamigboye, who is the President, Rotary Club of Ilorin GRA, urged Buhari and the anti-graft agencies to recover all Nigeria’s stolen money.

He said, “Of course, I support the anti-corruption war. It should be holistic. If you are a thief, you are a thief. If you are caught, you return what you have stolen. We should recover all stolen money.”

Credit: Punch

Nigerians Must Stop Shielding Looters Facing Trial– Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerians to stop protecting and supporting those facing trial for looting the public treasury.

Buhari, represented by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), spoke on Thursday night at the end of a four-day plenary session organized by the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria held at Holy Cross Catholic Church, Gwarinpa, Abuja.

He explained that the magnitude of corruption perpetuated by those facing trial remains a serious challenge to managing the nation’s natural resources.

He said, “Our nation has a large number of extremely vulnerable and poor people. At the last count, it was over 100 million extremely poor people that is why we cannot afford governments that  are corrupt, because the resources that are meant to satisfy many are consumed by only a few.

“We must hold those who are corrupt accountable; corruption is a crime against humanity, we must not make excuses for those who are corrupt. We as a government hold ourselves accountable for anything that we do.

“We want to put a system where anyone who holds public office is held to account for whatever he does in public office so that resources of this great nation will satisfy all of us and will be used for the common good.”

He added that the current administration was keen to ensure fairness among people of all religions, people of different faiths and people of different ethnicity.

Credit: Punch

Looters Now Returning Stolen Funds- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari in Tehran, Iran on Tuesday disclosed that many of the those who looted the public treasuries in the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan had started returning stolen funds to the coffers.

He said that though the government appreciated the development, it was still not enough to condone corruption, stressing that his government would,still prosecute them in due course.

He stated that the prosecution of suspects is taking time because the government is painstakingly gathering hard evidence against them.

President who spoke during a meeting with the Nigerian community in Iran decried the constraints inherent in democracy, recalling that it was easier for him as a military Head of State in 1985 to arrest corrupt individuals and put in protective custody for them to prove their innocence than in the present democratic practice.

He acknowledged that under the rule of law, the suspects are presumed innocent until convicted by the law.

He said: “On corruption; yes, they are still innocent. But, we are collecting documents and some of them have started voluntarily returning something. But we want all.

“When we get those documents we will formally charge them to court and then we will tell Nigerians to know those who abused trust when they are entrusted with public funds. So, the day of reckoning is gradually approaching.”

Credit: Vanguard

Soyombo Ayomikun: Alleged Looters Of Nigeria Falling Sick… Karma Or Drama??

Poem………..

 

  1. We heard

He stole

Millions,

We heard

He carted our treasures

Away

To distant

Shores.

We heard

He once dressed

As a woman

To escape

Being caught…

Then we heard

He died!

Though we didn’t

Know the whole truth,

Some wondered

If it was all

Karma or drama…

Or a non-fictitious sad twist

To the plot?

#PrayForNigeria

 

  1. He was decorated

To battle

In our

Place,

To buy us

Guns,

And bombs,

And fighter jets,

So the chains

On our Chibok daughters

Can be

Destroyed,

So Boko Haram

Can become

Rubbles,

So we can

Again enjoy

The dusk

In peace-

Watching children play

Beneath the moon,

From the smallest

Of our villages

To the biggest

Cities-

We heard

He also

Stole,

We heard

Dealings in the dark

Were orchestrated

By him.

As he was called

To recount

He sought

To fly

To greener shores

For medical check-up,

As if Nigeria

Has lost

Its hospitals

And great healthcare

Providers

That conquered

Ebola

To enemy bombs

Or whatever.

We heard

He has

Cancer.

The truth is indeed

Beyond us,

But one

Can’t but wonder

If it is all

Karma or drama…

Or a non-fictitious sad twist

To the plot?

#PrayForNigeria

 

  1. She was

The emblem

Of power,

The goddess

Of our oil,

Beautiful,

Confident,

And smart.

For her

We also heard

She stole,

We heard

She embezzled

Loads of naira,

To the point of making

White men cringe.

As her past

Was questioned,

Then we heard

She has

Cancer.

Several

Didn’t believe.

Despite a renowned writer

Meeting her

Taking her pictures

And sharing

With the world,

Still countless

Chose to

Disbelieve…

‘Karma shouldn’t strike

That fast’

They said…

They are still

Wondering

If it is all

Karma or drama…

Or a non-fictitious sad twist

To the plot?

#PrayForNigeria

 

  1. To condemn

Without proof

Is foolish,

But the ancient wisdom

Remains

That smoke doesn’t

Get birthed

Without a fire.

Confusion

Is enveloping

Nigeria,

With the truth

Taking on the skin

Of the winds.

Our judiciary barks

But doesn’t bite,

Our leaders scream ‘foul’

But then become mute

After seeing

Some ‘divine visions’.

Why do we

Keep chasing

‘Shadows’?

And if our targets

Ain’t shadows

Why does justice

Find it almost impossible

To strike?

We are lost

Wondering

If it is all

Karma or drama…

Or a non-fictitious sad twist

To the plot?

#PrayForNigeria

 

Soyombo Ayomikun tweets from @alabaster85

 

 

 

We Are Building Evidence Against Looters– Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said his administration was diligently building up its case against those accused of stealing government funds.

According to him, government was getting necessary evidence and facts before formal charges are brought against them.

The President reaffirmed that his administration would give full regard to due process and rule of law in the prosecution of its war against corruption.

A statement issued by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari spoke at an audience with a delegation from the Foursquare Gospel Church at the Presidential Villa.

He restated his commitment to recovering stolen funds, but stressed that the present administration’s efforts in this regard would be fully within the ambit of the law.

Credit: NationalMirror

NNPC Looters To Face Trial Soon- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday sent a notice to corrupt Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) officials  – get set for trial.

Buhari, who spoke in the United States; stressed the need to sanitise the oil industry and free it from shady deals.

He said those responsible for the corruption in the oil giant firm will soon be prosecuted.

The President spoke in New York during a meeting with President Xi Jinping of China on the sidelines of the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations (UN).

He said the first step in this direction had already been taken, with the appointment of a new management for the NNPC and its subsequent reorganization.

Read More: thenationonlineng

Gov. Amosun Wants Life Imprisonment For Looters

Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State on Thursday called for life imprisonment for any public office holder convicted for stealing state money.

He also advised workers in the state to prepare for tough days as the state faces a bleak financial future.

Gov. Amosun said since political office holders were not compelled to rule, as they begged the electorate to serve, there was no basis for them to defraud the people.

“Corruption is killing us, and we have to rise up to kill corruption. If I have my way any leader caught stealing should be shot, but as governor I should not be seen saying this, I can’t call for killing, but I want to say and declare that anybody found wanting for corruption should be jailed for life. They should also be stigmatized,” he said.

Read Morepremiumtimesng

Death Penalty For Looters, NLC Demands

Organised labour unions, the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, have jointly called for capital punishment for anybody found guilty of corruption in the country.

The President of the NLC, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, and his counterpart in the TUC, Mr. Bobboi Kaigama, made the call on Tuesday at a press conference on a national rally against corruption. The rally is scheduled for Thursday (tomorrow).

The union leaders said they would lead workers in a solidarity march to the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the National Assembly complex and the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to declare support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign against corruption.

Read More: punchng

Invite looters for talks —Okogie tells Buhari

Former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari, to invite suspected looters of the country’s treasury for talks.

He said the President’s efforts to retrieve looted funds would be made easier if looters were allowed to return their loot without castigating them publicly.

Okogie, in an interview said it was also cheaper to recover loot through dialogue than charging suspected public fund thieves to court.

“I agree with the National Peace Committee that the President should tread softly and should set criteria that he is going to use. Corruption is endemic in Nigeria. That is why they are asking for caution: ‘Look at it properly,’” he said.

The cleric urged President Buhari to invite those suspected to have looted government treasury “to speak to their conscience.”

He warned that it would be difficult for the government to retrieve the loot as the suspects would use their financial resources to create legal hurdles for their prosecutors.

Okogie said, “People like that, when they go to court, they don’t look right and left before they do things. If I have a man like that and I know he has the money, I will weigh the options; ‘will it profit the nation if I take this man to court. If I take him to court, he is going to get a lawyer. The lawyer will be employed with part of the money I am looking for.

“The lawyer will now start to ask for adjournments and all what not. I may not get this money until after four years. And the judge too, in the mean time, is getting (part of the loot); you will not know. He won’t just adjourn anyhow.

“The lawyer will invite his brother (the judge) to come and get part of the cake until half of it will be gone. We have to look at the issue from that angle. And you may end up getting nothing.”

When asked if such would be possible in a sanitised judiciary, he asked, “Is it sanitised?”

 

According to Okogie, these are the areas the President ought to have started his anti-graft war by “sanitising and purifying” the judiciary first. “At least, you will know that three-quarters of the place is tight, and then you can start (the probe),” he added.

The fiery cleric, who decried the spate of moral decadence in the society, stated that it was the responsibility of the family to bring up the child well.

He lamented that parents were no more disciplined as before, saying, “These days, they don’t care anymore. That is not right; that is not how they were brought up.”

Okogie attributed the increasing spate of corruption in the country to declining moral upbringing of children.

He said, “Look at the probe that is going on now, for example; how can one person manage to get (steal) one-point-something billion; not even million but billion, and very soon you will hear of trillions? Where did he get it from? That is how it is going on, and he is from a family.

“And if his conscience worried him, he will run to his pastor to say ‘I want to pay tithe — 10 per cent; this is my tithe.’ The pastor collects the tithe. Seeing that it is huge money, the pastor will ask him, ‘what can I do for you?’ ”

-Punch

Don’t Defend Looters, Buhari Tasks Lawyers

President Muhammadu Buhari urged lawyers in the country not to sacrifice the integrity of the country’s legal system in a bid to cover the misdeeds of their clients, no matter how lucrative the brief may be.

Speaking at the opening of the 55th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja, Buhari called on lawyers to support his administration’s war against corruption and help the country return to the path of rectitude by making Nigerian courts functional and effective again.

The president stressed that his administration had taken on the challenge of improving security, fighting corruption and revamping the economy, among many others.

Buhari said: “The fight against corruption is in reality a struggle for the restoration of law and order. Corruption and impunity become widespread when disrespect for law is allowed to thrive in society. Disrespect for law also thrives when people get away with all sorts of shady deals and the court system is somehow unable to check them.

“Ability to manipulate and frustrate the legal system is the crowning glory of the corrupt and, as may be expected, this has left many legal practitioners and law courts tainted in an ugly way…”

Read Morenationalmirroronline

Death Penalty For Looters, Writers Demand

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has said that it would propose a bill on death penalty for anyone convicted of stealing from the public treasury.

National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the group would be sending a draft of the proposed legislation to the National Assembly when it reconvenes on September 29; adding that the proposed bill would specifically target those who steal public funds meant for essential services, especially in the health, education, roads, water, electricity and defence.

Applauding President Muhammadu Buhari’s ongoing anti-graft campaign, he however, faulted the handpicking of judges for cases involving corrupt persons.

Warning against the breach of the constitution and the principle of separation of powers, he noted that such measures are tantamount to the president operating like a monarch keen to usurp the duties of the judiciary.

“We can’t allow the nation go through jungle justice anymore,” he said. “We do not see any merit in the president setting up a panel to screen judges in a bid to get the incorruptible ones. As the head of the executive arm, he doesn’t have the power to screen judges. This is a democracy. He cannot confer on himself the powers unknown in our constitution.”

Creditdailytimes

Sultan Urges Buhari To Go After Looters

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, on Monday told President Muhammadu Buhari to make sure that he prosecutes every person found to have looted the national treasury.

The Sultan said Buhari should not only prosecute the corrupt and ensure that the proceeds of their corruption are forfeited to the Federal Government but that such persons should be sent to jail.

“We are 100 per cent in support of your fight against corruption in this country, and it is our belief that all those found guilty should not only have their entire assets seized and forfeited to government but also face jail sentences,” he said.

The Sultan also asked the Federal Government to institute a national integrity plan as soon as possible. He however challenged the police and other security agencies to support the anti-corruption crusade of the Buhari government.

Read Morepunchng

Buhari May Free Looters Who Return Stolen Funds

The loot recovery efforts of the Federal Government may soon take a new dimension as there are strong indications that President Muhammadu Buhari may grant amnesty to treasury looters to encourage them return stolen billions kept abroad and in Nigeria.

A credible source said in Kaduna that Buhari might opt for amnesty option to fast track the recovery of looted national treasury to enable him fulfill his campaign promises, which will involve trillions of naira.

Reports gathered say that the amnesty option would serve as the soft side of the loot recovery strategy otherwise referred to as a “carrot and stick approach.”

While the carrot approach will be for soft looters, who may be willing to return their looted share to the federal government treasury without arrest and charges, the stick stance would be for hardened ones who, may head to court to protect their ill-gotten wealth.

Read Morenationalmirroronline

Come & Confess, Anti-Graft C’ttee To Looters

Chiarman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay, SAN, yesterday urged all those who know their hands are dirty to come forward and confess, assuring that certain lenient terms can be obtained by doing so.

Sagay promised that the fight against corruption will not be selective even as he disclosed that the agenda for the anti-corruption committee was still being worked out by the Federal Government.

Read More: vanguardngr 

Buhari, No Hidding Place For Looters Of Our Money

The moral decadence of Nigeria’s political class is playing out in the ongoing mass defections from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to the victorious opposition All Progressives Congress. No sooner had Muhammadu Buhari of the APC triumphed over President Goodluck Jonathan than the floodgates opened for prominent PDP stalwarts looking perpetually to the spoils of office to jump ship. Buhari and the APC now have a historic mission to break with the prevailing predatory system that has foisted parasitic political elite on the country.

Perhaps unwittingly, the APC’s campaign slogan of “change” has ignited high hopes in many Nigerians that its presidential flagbearer, Buhari, who has, in over four decades in the public glare, built a reputation for honesty and discipline will lead a paradigm shift for accountability in public office. The mass migration of the flotsam and jetsam of the tainted political class to his corner presents the first challenge for the President-elect and his party to stamp their identity as change agents.

There should be no safe haven for thieves…

Unlike what has prevailed in the past few years when a section of the federal cabinet and presidential entourage sometimes looked like a rogues’ gallery, Buhari should clean up our public service by scrupulously keeping tainted politicians and businessmen away from public office and his inner circle.

We have had 16 unbroken years of democratic governance and reject the self-defeatist, self-serving mantra of undergoing a “learning process.” Much smaller African countries like Ghana, Rwanda and Botswana have left us behind in democratic protocol. Some South-Eastern countries like South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan quickly adapted to democracy after years of authoritarian military dictatorship.

The task will not be easy. Some of the personalities quickly switching sides have ongoing cases of corruption in the courts; others have terrible track records in public office, while others are battling damaging accusations of looting that have not been properly investigated due to the prevailing reign of impunity. Yet others are unashamedly fair weather birds hoping the new government will continue the culture of patronage and impunity. Among the defectors are former state governors, ex-ministers, legislators and the large tribe of rent-seekers and influence-peddlers referred to derisively as “Any Government in Power,” who stalk the corridors of power for influence and appointments. Many want protection from prosecution for their past misdeeds.

Buhari should not bend his stated resolve to keep defectors and looters at bay. He should go further and bring all treasury looters to justice. These include private businessmen and women, local and foreign, civil servants and former and current public office holders who, with their collaborators, have made Nigeria one of the world’s most corrupt countries, ranking 136 out of 175 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2014.

A new estimate by the Business Council for Africa surmises that up to $1 trillion has been stolen from the public from 1960 to 2005, higher than the $400 billion estimated by the World Bank to have been stolen between 1960 and 1999. The clean-up will have to start from the President-elect’s party, which was born as an amalgam of opposition parties and defectors – led by five state governors – from the ruling PDP. A significant number among its leadership are also tainted by graft accusations, including un-concluded cases against them by the anti-graft agencies. Buhari should keep them and their nominees out of his cabinet. The rule should apply to private persons.