Name Looters Now, SERAP Tells Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

A rights group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has urged President Mohammadu Buhari to publish the names of those who looted public funds in the country.

The organisation asked the government to publish the names of high-ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered.

It also advised the government to spend the recovered funds in a transparent and accountable manner in order to remove opportunities for re-looting.

In a statement signed yesterday by Executive Director, SERAP, Adetokunbo Mumuni, the organisation said that the recovered funds be spent to benefit vulnerable population, particularly to improve their access to quality education, healthcare, potable water and electricity.

The statement reads: “Publishing the names of high-ranking government officials that have already returned stolen public funds will not infringe their right to presumption of innocence in particular and fair trial in general if the government can provide a caveat to make it clear that such disclosure does not suggest an assessment of the guilt of those named, and that they remain suspects until proven guilty by a competent judicial authority.

“The authorities responsible for combating corruption cannot be expected to refrain from all statements, such as the fact that a suspicion of corruption exists. What is excluded is however a formal declaration that somebody is guilty without trial before a court of law.”