We will publish names of looters – FG

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The Federal Government, on Wednesday agreed to publish the names of looters of public funds as ordered by the Federal High court in Lagos today.

Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council meeting.

According to Malami, the FG totally agrees with the court’s ruling and will adhere, as long as it did not amount to violation of the rules of the court.

The High Court ordered the Federal Government, to immediately release to Nigerians names of high ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered, the circumstances under which funds were recovered and the exact amount of funds recovered from each public official.

The judgment was delivered on Wednesday morning by Hon Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari following a Freedom of Information suit number: FHC/CS/964/2016 by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

The suit followed disclosure in 2016 by the Federal Government 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.”

The court ordered government “To widely disseminate including on a dedicated website information about the names of high ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered since May 2015.

“The circumstances under which stolen public funds were returned”.

The Ministry of Information last year 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.

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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 totalled: $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 are – farmlands, plots of land, uncompleted buildings, completed buildings, vehicles and maritime vessels.

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