Bring Back Our Money!

Newton Osemanye, A DFID Staff Facilitating during the Roundtable

Newton Osemanye, A DFID Staff Facilitating during the Roundtable

The 2016 Federal Budget Proposal had a deficit of N2.22 trillion. Of this amount, N984 billion was to be financed by domestic borrowing and N900 billion by foreign borrowing. But civil society activists are now asking: why go a borrowing when about N1.354 trillion allegedly stolen between 1999 and 2012 from government coffers are yet to be recovered?

Findings of a research carried out by Human Development Initiative (HDI) on high profile corruption cases pending in courts show that this is the amount allegedly stolen from the Nigerian people during this period by the following categories of people:

Ex – Governors (15) 146, 840,800,000.00
Ex-ministers (4) 7,050,000,000.00
Ex Legislators (5) 8,350,000,000.00
Ex-Public Servants (fed) (7 persons) 6,906,600,000.00
Ex- public servants (states) (5 persons) 7,275,000,000.00
Private Sector (Banking Ind. ) (8 persons) 524,560,000,000.00
Businessmen/women (11 persons) 653,150,000,000.00
N1,354,132,400,000.00

These cases are still pending in court. Indeed some of them seem to have been abandoned. This has prompted civil society organizations, under the aegis of Justice4All, a United Kingdom Department for International Development (DfFID) project to kick start a campaign that would see civil society organizations and the media synergizing to ensure that these cases are revived and resolved without any further delay and the money allegedly stolen recovered.

One of the steps taken towards the achievement of this objective was a National Stakeholders Roundtable on Anti-Corruption Agenda held in Enugu on May 5th and 6th. The Roundtable among other things discussed some of the unresolved high profile corruption cases, analysed their impact on the welfare of Nigerians and on current anti-corruption efforts and agreed on strategies and prospects for resolving them.