Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN) has disclosed that 22 former governors are currently being investigated for money-laundering related charges.
Speaking at a media parley with the National Association of Judiciary Correspondents (NAJUC) in Abuja he described President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption as “total, comprehensive and dispassionate devoid of any political or ethnic sentiments or inclination”.
The minister equally revealed that many serving senators are under FG’s investigative radar while stressing that corruption undermines the security of any nation, generates huge economic damage and violates human development.
Malami said President Buhari would leave no stone unturned to recover wealth stolen from Nigeria either by individuals or corporate entities.
He noted that three former governors have already been convicted and are currently serving various jail terms for corruption-related crimes they committed while in office.
The AGF further revealed that the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, (EFCC), had between 2015 and 2019, secured the conviction of 1, 636 persons involved in corruption-related offences.
Occasions like this one serve as avenues for introspection and unveiling action plans, future projects and strategic initiatives for consolidating the ministry’s drive-in Justice sector enhancement for the forthcoming year and beyond.
Members of the Judiciary Correspondents have been contributing tremendously in their reportage of the activities of the ministry and its parastatals.
“You report to the public the enviable contributions of the teaming members of the ministry that culminated into landslide accomplishments.
“I would like to acknowledge the fact that the Judiciary Correspondents have been very supportive in providing positive and adequate publicity for the ministry’s activities.
“I am optimistic that the meeting is essential in enhancing the working relationship between the ministry and the media.
The imperative of having a committed leadership that respects the rule of law and above all has zero tolerance to corruption and corrupt tendencies remains the fulcrum upon which development revolves.
“Let me inform this gathering that corruption undermines the security of any nations, generate huge economic damage and violates human development. No doubt, failure to address corruption inhibits sustainable long growth which undermines national development.
“Like the president always states, if we don’t make effort to kill corruption, corruption will kill us and when corrupt monies find haven, they will begin to fight back. Thus, Nigeria and Africa at large can only move forward if we resist corruption in all forms.
The present administration has been fighting corruption in all its ramified manifestations including legislative framework, institutional infrastructure and the adoption of effective preventive measures against corruption and putting in place mechanisms for the management of recovered stolen assets.
“To this end, we have created a central database for recovered stolen assets which is under the supervision of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
“The government made concerted efforts that see to the boosting of the institutions and agencies responsible for the fight against corruption; Ministry of Justice, Independent Corrupt and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Code of Conduct Bureau, among others.
Nigeria has taken anti-corruption measures in tackling cybercrime, money laundering, oil bunkering and false assets declaration among others. Pursuant to the Code of Conduct Act, public officers are expected to declare their assets immediately upon assumptions of office.
“We have also developed the National Anti-Corruption Strategy and a guideline for smooth implementation of the strategy which five (5) pillars include: Prevention of Corruption, Public engagement, Ethical re-orientation, Enforcement and sanction, and Recovery and management of proceeds of crime.
The government has improved the economic fortune of the country through institutional support and legislative framework. The Financial Bill, Deep Offshore Profit Sharing Contract Act among others count among steps in that direction.
“I am pleased to inform this gathering that the Federal Government of Nigeria has recovered funds from corporate bodies and individuals through the combined efforts of the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and our Law Enforcement Agencies through local and international collaboration with international community and adoption of strategies put in place.”