Stop begging for money, recover stolen loots -Falana

Chidi Samuel

Femi Falana (SAN), social critic and human right lawyer, today urged the Federal Government to adopt an “aggressive policy” to recover looted funds and stop asking for loans.The Ekiti state born Senior Advocate spoke on the side line of an event to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day organised by the U.S. Embassy in Abuja .

According to him, “People have stolen our money, why are you begging them to return it? We need to fight them and collect the money; we do not need loans that will mortgage the future of our country.

“The government is asking for a loan of $29.6 billion and we have more than that to recover,” he stated.

While Calling on the U.S Government to intervene to assist the country in the recovery of looted funds, Falana, however said that the Federal Government’s current plan to recover stolen loots of would not get the country out of its economic crisis unless the government adopts a more aggressive policy against Western governments and their financial institutions.

” For instance, $458 million has been forfeited in the U.S.; Nigeria has filed an application before the High Court in Jersey where the money was traced to.

“But the U.S. Government has filed an objection to the release of the money to the government of Nigeria, claiming the money should be paid to the U.S Government to be managed for Nigeria.

“We also have some money to collect from the Swiss Government; the Swiss Government is illegally saying that they are not going to release this money unless the World Bank is ready to supervise the management of the fund.”

“Unfortunately, the government (Nigeria) is not challenging such violations of our sovereign rights as a nation.

“Unless the Federal Government is prepared to adopt an aggressive policy against western governments and their very corrupt financial institutions, we are not going to come out of this mess.”

The human right lawyer also called on Nigeria media to join the campaign of the return of the country’s looted funds..

“The Financial Times Magazine of the UK wrote an editorial asking the UK Government to release not less than one billion pounds instead of giving us aid; the Nigerian media should join the campaign,” he stated.