Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, Prof. Itsey Sagay, has backed a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, for releasing his own list of looters, but said it has an implication.
Omokri had responded to the lists released by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, by releasing list of members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who should be included in the list.
Speaking in an interview with Punch, Prof. Sagay commended his courage to release such list but warned that it could be libelous.
He called on other Nigerians who feel the list is incomplete to go ahead and publish their own names of looters.
He said, “It is good that Omokri released his own list; it is encouraging and this is what I have been telling Nigerians; if you think the list is incomplete, go and bring what you have. Let everyone bring out their own list.
“People who have not said anything but know more should bring their own lists out. That’s good for the health of the country and, of course, while you are bringing out your list and you mention a name that has not been involved in corruption, then there is a risk of defamation and liability.
“Let people come out and publish their own lists. Anyone who is not satisfied with the government’s list and thinks some names were omitted should publish their own. That’s very healthy for our democracy.
Asked if he agrees to the names on Omokri’s looters ’ list, Sagay added, “No , I don’t agree to those names; I ’m only agreeing to the idea that you can bring out your own list.
“There is a difference between the two. I don’t know where he got the names on his list from and that is his own problem.
“I can’t confirm the names on his list . I can’t guarantee his list, but what I’m saying is that he has the right as a citizen to express himself; it’s a natural right and if he has further information, he can bring it out.
“But any list is subject to libel if somebody ’s name is falsely mentioned.
“As I said earlier, the government has done its own and I cannot swear that some people were not left out.
‘But if for any reason some people were left out, as Omokri has done, let people bring up those names and if the list is correct, the people therein will keep quiet, but if they are innocent, they will sue whoever brings out their names.
“That’s the way I feel; I don ’t think the government should be compelled by the people who are saying, ‘Bring out this name, bring out that name.’ I don’t agree. Whatever list the government has released is the official list of looters.
“Nothing is ever perfect and I’m not even saying it’s not a complete list. I repeat , if anyone feels it is not a complete list, let them add their own.
“You cannot compel the government to put so- and-so name; it has its criteria for determining who should be on the list. Let the people add their own names so that we can have a complete list.”