FG May Consider Soft Landing For Those Returning Loots, Says Presidential Anti-corruption Advisory Committee Chairman Sagay
Constitutional lawyer and Presidential Anti-corruption Advisory Committee Chairman Prof. Itse Sagay has hinted of a possible soft landing for treasury looters and corrupt politicians, who return their shares of the $2.1 billion arms procurement and other loot traced to them.
Sagay, in an interview with The Nation in Warri, Delta State at the weekend, confirmed that some members of the past administration and other beneficiaries of the looted arms money were secretly making refunds.
He would, however, not disclose names of those making the refunds or how much has been recovered, saying: “If I knew (how much), I can’t tell you.”
The lawyer affirmed that “a lot of money has been recovered and the result of that is that such people are likely to be given soft landing”.
Sagay, who was in the oil city for his inauguration as a member of the Olu Advisory Council of Warri Kingdom, added: ”The President is much on course in the struggle, not only against corruption, but in the fight to stabilise this country and repair it for the march ahead towards development. I support what he is doing, because he is doing the right thing.”
He flayed those who accused President Muhammadu Buhari of making the fight against corruption his sole agenda.
His words: “This is a fallacy that I hear all the time. In fact, Buhari is not personally involved in the anti-corruption war. Is he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Code of Conduct? He is not the head of these agencies.
“There are ministers of Health, Education and others working round the clock so that the totality of governance is being covered and it is being promoted by these ministers and ministries.
“So many good things are happening and nobody is talking about those. In the next four years, we are going to have a modern and technologically high and scientifically involved society.
“So many people are working in different areas and he is not involved in the corruption battle. Many of us hardly see him because he is not directly involved, but we know what to do. He has put us, people in position; EFCC people and everybody is involved. That the EFCC is doing an excellent job does not mean that is the only thing going on.”
On the alleged “padding” of the 2016 Budget, Sagay blamed it on the civil servants, stressing that the Presidency had nothing to do with it. He also traced the problem to the migration from the previous budgeting method to the zero system.
“These allegations of padding came from the Civil Service, not from the Presidency. And from what I gathered, the President is upset and is determined to punish those responsible.
“We have been using envelop system for a long time and suddenly the zero sum system was introduced and they are not quite familiar with it. There is some confusion and not all the inconsistencies and disparities were deliberate.
“It has nothing to do with the President and you should know that he is a man who stands for the truth and whose integrity is known worldwide and he would not do anything that would become an embarrassment to the country,” he said.