- …As FG moves to cut down cost of governance
By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday ordered the sale of seized assets in the course of his administration’s fight against corruption.
The President said this will forestall his past experience where seized assets were returned to the owners after he was dethroned from power.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Femi Adesina, Buhari stated this while hosting members of Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) at the State House.
President Buhari also has gave the assurance that his government would prune down the cost of governance in the country.
Recalling his experience of the past in which assets were seized from officials who could not explain how they got them, “only for those assets to be returned to them when government was changed,” the President vowed that such would not recur, as he had given instructions that all forfeited assets be sold, “and the money put in the Treasury Single Account (TSA). Let us see who will now take back the money from the treasury, and give back to those people, as was done in the past.”
Thanking them for their service to the nation, Buhari described their service as “major sacrifice “they have made in accepting the assignment to serve the country,
He noted that: “Some of the elite would not trust you, and you will be alienated, no matter how close you are to them.”
On his resolve to cut down cost of governance in the country, Buhari promised to beam the searchlight on cost of governance, and weed out possible corruption that exists anywhere.
Chairman of PACAC, Professor Itse Sagay, who led the delegation, said Nigeria was lucky more than ever to have a person of President Buhari’s credentials as leader of government.
He said: “We congratulate you for being a star of the anti-corruption struggle in Africa. You attach a lot of importance to the fight against corruption, and we have tried to achieve the aims you had in mind when you established PACAC.”
He said the committee trains, builds capacity of anti-corruption agencies, and has helped to develop a programme of non-conviction assets recovery, which is recording great successes.
PACAC made some recommendations to the President, in order to move the anti-corruption war many steps forward. They include, reestablishment of the jury system for criminal cases in the country; setting up of a judicial commission on corruption in the judiciary, to be headed by retired judges under the auspices of National Judicial Council (NJC); passage of Proceeds of Crime Act by the National Assembly; the setting up of a Presidential Truth and Restitution Task Force; and a closer look at the cost of governance to weed out all vestiges of corruption.