Monday 6 June 2016

It's Better to Err on the Side of Caution - Presidency Speaks on Withholding Names of Looters

The  presidential special adviser on media and publicity has defended the President Buhari-led federal government's decision to withhold the names of the persons that returned alleged loots. 

While speaking in an interview with Channels Television on Sunday, Femi Adesina, the spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, has defended the government’s decision to withhold the names of the persons that returned alleged loots to the government, saying the decision was made to guard against legal issues.
The presidential special adviser on media and publicity who disclosed that in categorising the funds, some funds were in the country’s kitty while some were under interim forfeiture, said: “Do you go releasing the names of people from whom those funds were recovered but they are still interim forfeiture.
“What if at the end of the day the court decides that those people are not guilty and that the money should be returned, then you will have legal cases on your hands and that will constitute distraction to the government.
“I think it is better to err on the side of caution and that was why eventually the President agreed with those who said the names should be withheld,” he said.
The President’s spokesman said that the government had high quotient of integrity and expressed confidence that Nigerians also knew the current administration had integrity, adding that mentioning the names would discourage persons who had the intention of returning funds from bringing the funds forward.
“At the end of the day, we will lose monies that would have been recoverable for the country but because the government has been precipitate in mentioning names, those funds will not be returned to the coffers again,” he explained.
Femi Adesina also said that the recovered funds could be used to make up for the deficit in the 2016 budget. The budget has over two trillion Naira deficit.

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