Monday, 29 May 2017

Loot recovery, prosecution process slow — Osinbajo

 He, however, stressed that the nation's law does not recognise a time bar for the prosecution of corruption and other crimes.

The acting president, in his Democracy Day speech released early this morning, vowed that the government would not relent in its efforts towards apprehending and bringing corruption suspects to justice.

He disclosed that the government was re-equipping its prosecution teams, "and  part of the expected judicial reforms is to dedicate some specific courts to the trial of corruption cases."

He said: "In the fight against corruption,  we have focused on bringing persons accused of corruption to justice. We believe that the looting of public resources that took place in the past few years has to be accounted for. Funds appropriated to build roads, railway lines, and power plants, and to equip the military, that had been stolen or diverted into private pockets, must be retrieved and the culprits brought to justice.

"Many have said that the process is slow, and that is true, corruption has fought back with tremendous resources and our system of administration of justice has been quite  slow. But the good news for justice is that our law does not recognize a time bar for the prosecution of corruption and other crimes."

He said the government was also institutionalizing safeguards and deterrents by expanding the coverage of the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

"We have introduced more efficient accounting and budgeting systems across the Federal Government. We have also launched an extremely successful Whistleblower Policy. The Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance has succeeded in plugging leakages amounting to billions of naira, over the last two years. We have ended expensive and much-abused fertilizer and petrol subsidy regimes.

"We have taken very seriously our promise to save and invest for the future, even against the backdrop of our revenue challenges, and we have in the last two years added US$500m to our Sovereign Wealth Fund and US$87m to the Excess Crude Account. This is the very opposite of the situation before now, when rising oil prices failed to translate to rising levels of savings and investment," he said.

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