The presidency has said monies recovered from corrupt government officials and their accomplices cannot be made public now because they are to be used as evidence against the looters during prosecution.
Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media to the President, Malam Garba Shehu, who disclosed this to journalists in Abuja at the weekend said the recovered funds, which he noted was running into billions of naira, have been kept in a special account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Shehu said the delay in making public what has been recovered was engendered by the need to ensure that those who stole public funds are made to face the wrath of the law.
His words: “On the issue of how much has been returned, let me state that the money so far retrieved is money to be used as evidence in court, and this is in line with the position of President Muhammadu Buhari who said two things; we will recover and we will prosecute. So as it is now, you don’t go and bring out all these millions returned. I am aware that there is an account in the CBN where some of these funds are being kept, but they are evidences for a judge to see, they are not for public display. I think that is the challenge we have at the moment.”
Assuring Nigerians yearning for employment opportunities that the good times are around the corner with the passage of the budget, Shehu said Buhari-led administration was living up to its campaign promises to Nigerians.
He disclosed that Vice President Yemi Osibajo would soon begin a town hall meeting which would accord him the opportunity to educate Nigerians on the policies of the current administration. “I want to congratulate Nigerians for supporting the administration and especially, during the period most people consider to be a difficult one. A lot of people had expected jobs by way of key appointments in boards, ministries and the parastatals and so on, that have been held back by the fact that the president has promised a major restructuring of the executive arm of the government, including the reduction of ministries from 42 to about 24. That will not go without concomitant challenges on the existing parastatals and agencies of government, which obviously have to be modified to fit into the existing ministerial structure.
“Also, I congratulate Nigerians on the achievements the President has recorded fighting Boko Haram terrorism. The military has said its technical victory. I think that as citizens of this country, we must be able to say something and defend that, this is well beyond technical victory; no city in the country is under curfew now, all military roadblocks have been removed except when they are necessitated by a crime situation and people are freely moving, and normal life is been restored to the Northeast geo- political zone.”