Three years after a dismal performance of its anti-corruption crusade, the Muhammadu Buhari-led Presidency on Friday, 30 March 2018 pulled up a failed stunt in Lagos through the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. According to him, the Federal government has risen up to the challenge by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by naming those who looted the treasury of Nigeria. The first list of names was released on Saturday, and a supplementary list was released on Sunday.
The looters’ list as released by the Federal Government, to say the least, is distasteful, it has also shown that the crop of technocrats and professionals we have at the Presidency have lost the ethics of their profession to politics. According to Section 36 (5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended ) states:
“Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty. ..”
At the moment, all the individuals mentioned by the Federal Government in its looters’ list are innocent in the eyes of the law.
Also, most of the individuals mentioned by the Federal Government have several cases currently in the courts, where the Federal government is either the plaintiff or the defendant. The Federal government by its actions has made itself a judge in its own case, this is an aberration that should not be allowed to sail through.
To further show the level of impropriety being displayed by the federal government, the looters’ list contains only names of PDP members while names of former PDP members who decamped to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as at the time they were being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for corruption were exempted. This also includes individuals that are standing trial at different courts in the land and those whose prosecution have been stalled after joining the APC.
The federal government’s anti-corruption drive has met a brick wall as it has failed to bring to book a single individual, also acts of corruption are still rampant in the country as found in the country’s increasing Transparency International corruption perception index.