FG will Publish Names Of Looters -Malami

The federal government on Wednesday said it will abide by the order of a federal high court in Lagos and publish names of treasury looters as demanded.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council meeting.

The court had ordered the Federal Government to “immediately release to Nigerians, information about the names of high-ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered and the circumstances under which funds were recovered, as well as the exact amount recovered from each public official”.

The judgment was delivered Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari following a Freedom of Information suit number: FHC/CS/964/2016 brought by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).

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The suit followed disclosure last year by the Federal Government of funds recovered from some high-ranking public officials and private individuals.

In her judgment, Justice Shagari agreed with SERAP that “the Federal Government has legally binding obligations to tell Nigerians the names of all suspected looters of the public treasury past and present.” Joined as Defendants in the suit are the Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Muhammed and the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.

Justice Shagari also granted the following reliefs:

A declaration that by virtue of the provisions of Section 4 (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the Defendants are under a binding legal obligation to provide the Plaintiff with up to date information relating to the following:

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To widely disseminate including a dedicated website information about the names of high-ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered since May 2015, the circumstances under which stolen public funds were returned.

Mr. Malami told reporters in Abuja that government is in agreement with the ruling and will carry out the order as long as it does not amount to sub judice.