The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has challenged the federal government to give account of the recovered N800 billion.
The party was reacting to the statement of the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, the present administration has so far recovered funds looted by corrupt elements in the past administrations.
The minister had on Tuesday said “this administration has recorded over 1,400 convictions, including high profile ones, and recovered funds in excess of N800 billion, not to talk of forfeiture of ill-gotten properties. This is no mean feat”.
In a swift response the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, challenged the government to come clean on how the said funds were utilized.
“Nigerians have noted the blackmails, intimidation and threats coming from government quarters, in their feverish bid to frustrate whistle-blowers and truncate on-going uncovering of widespread corruption in ministries, departments and agencies, under the APC administration, for which Nigerians cannot wait to see the exit of this party of horrendous looters.
Ologbondiyan described as ridiculous that this administration seeks to claim credit for the investigation and unearthing of fraud in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) when it is already public knowledge that the investigation only came as a result of pressure mounted by our party and other Nigerians.)
The party challenged the APC federal government to give account of the N800 billion especially given allegations that recovered monies have been re-looted and shared among topmost officials of the Buhari administration and APC leaders.
“Rather than resorting to false performance claims, the expectation of Nigerians is that this administration would have sent Lai Mohammed to apologise for this display of gross abuse of position especially as it relates to the fight against corruption.
“We further invite Nigerians to note that Lai Mohammed, in his press conference, admitted that he could not go into the details of the various corruption issues in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), EFCC and other agencies.
“Our party holds that this is an evasion of gory tales of direct stealing, treasury looting and barefaced embezzlements by government officials and APC leaders as already exposed in on-going investigations at the National Assembly and at the presidential panel.
“With this shocking suppression of information related to corrupt practices, by no other person than the minister of information, Nigerians and the world at large are no longer in doubt that concealment of corruption in ministries, department and agencies is an official policy of the APC administration because their leaders are involved.
“This is the same reason the APC and its government had suppressed the prosecution of officials indicted in the N90 billion stolen from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in which top members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were mentioned.
“This is in addition to the suppression of prosecution of APC leaders involved in the reported looting of N33billion from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the stealing of over N18 billion from the rehabilitation of IDPs in the Northeast as well as the over N25 billion from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) among others.
“If the Buhari administration is indeed fighting corruption, Nigerians wonder why it has not addressed the involvement of APC leaders in the alleged looting of over N14 trillion, including the N9.6 trillion ($25 billion) as detailed in the leaked NNPC memo; the over N1trillion worth of crude oil using 18 unregistered companies linked to APC leaders as well as the sleaze in fraudulent oil subsidy regime.
“We also challenge the minister of information to inform Nigerians why this administration has failed to address the direct allegation by the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, that the N500bn meant for Social Investment Program under this administration was diverted to private purses.
“Furthermore, we challenge Lai Mohammed to name those behind the $2.5 billion (N1.175 trillion) Chinese Gates oil theft scandal, in which officials of this administration were alleged to have been involved.
“We also challenge the minister to name those behind the looting in NEMA, NHIS, FIRS North East Development Commission and the NDDC”.