Buhari should invite looters for talks so they can return the loot- Okogie
Former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria,
Anthony Cardinal Okogie, advised President Muhammadu
Buhari, to invite suspected looters of the country’s treasury
He said that since the President is working to retrieve looted
funds, he advised the president that it would be easier if
looters were allowed to return their loot without castigating
“I agree with the National Peace Committee that the
President should tread softly and should set criteria
that he is going to use. Corruption is endemic in
Nigeria. That is why they are asking for caution:
‘Look at it properly,’” he said.
to have looted government treasury “to speak to their
He said that it would be difficult for the government to
retrieve the loot as the suspects would use their financial
resources to create legal hurdles for their prosecutors.
“People like that, when they go to court, they don’t
look right and left before they do things. If I have a
man like that and I know he has the money, I will
weigh the options; ‘will it profit the nation if I take
this man to court. If I take him to court, he is going
to get a lawyer.
part of the money I am looking for.
“The lawyer will now start to ask for adjournments
and all what not. I may not get this money until
after four years. And the judge too, in the mean
time, is getting (part of the loot); you will not know.
He won’t just adjourn anyhow.
“The lawyer will invite his brother (the judge) to
come and get part of the cake until half of it will be
gone. We have to look at the issue from that angle.
And you may end up getting nothing.”
When asked if such would be possible in a sanitised
judiciary, he asked, “Is it sanitised?”
He said these are the areas the President ought to have
started his anti-graft war by “sanitising and purifying” the
judiciary first. “At least, you will know that three-quarters of
the place is tight, and then you can start (the probe),” he
He further said that parents were no more disciplined as
like in the old days.
“These days, they don’t care anymore. That is not
right; that is not how they were brought up.”
“Look at the probe that is going on now, for
example; how can one person manage to get (steal)
one-point-something billion; not even million but
billion, and very soon you will hear of trillions?
Where did he get it from? That is how it is going on,
and he is from a family.
“And if his conscience worried him, he will run to his
pastor to say ‘I want to pay tithe-; this is my tithe.’
The pastor collects the tithe. Seeing that it is huge
money, the pastor will ask him, ‘what can I do for