A PUBLIC affairs advocacy group, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), has called on federal government to probe prominent Nigerians mentioned in the Pandora Papers scandal.
They include former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, his Kebbi State, Osun State counterparts, Atiku Bagudu and Gboyega Oyetola, respectively.
Executive Director and Representative of Transparency International, Nigeria, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, made the call under the aegis of CISLAC during a press conference in Abuja, yesterday.
Faulting President Muhammadu Buhari’s silence on the scandal as worrisome, Rafsanjani said the scandal has cast aspersions on government’s war against corruption in Nigeria.
According to him, federal government must take urgent steps in investigating every person exposed and implicated in the report, irrespective of their political affiliation.
“We all know that if government has been taking necessary steps we won’t be losing this huge amount of money but because the system is so loose and no effort has been put in place to block these leakages, we will continue to loose such amount of money.
One would like to know why the Central Bank with all the regulatory policies and framework should allow this kind of huge money diversion out of Nigeria. There seems to be lack of understanding of what corruption is in this government. These revelations have attracted global attention and had made countries like United States, Canada take decisive actions against their nationals who were involved in the scandal but ours here were being awarded with government positions. In fact, we have seen cases where people who are facing criminal charges decamped to the ruling party and were seen taking photograph with the person leading the fight against corruption. The Pandora papers release is coming when Nigeria is reeling under the deleterious impact of the COVID-19 and the debt pileup that has continued to stoke serious concerns across political divides and among Nigerians and its development partners.
Therefore, it is a meaningful opportunity for the Buhari administration to act decisively against corruption, aggressive tax planning, and other financial practices of politically exposed persons and their advisors and companies that threaten our country’s economic stability and corporate existence,” he said.