A constitutional lawyer, Ntufam Mba Ukweni, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has condemned the released of looter’s lists by the federal government, describing the action as childish.
Speaking with DAILY POST on Thursday on phone, Ntufam Ukweni regretted the action of the federal government.
Sadly, he said that the ruling government has crops of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) and senior members of the inner Bar that would have advised the Minister on the danger of releasing such names but they chose to remain silent.
“In this government, the Vice President is a lawyer and a senior member of the inner Bar, the Minister of Transport is a lawyer and a senior member of the inner Bar and the Minister of Power is a lawyer and a senior member of the inner Bar and they are Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN).
He lamented the way the President Buhari’s led government was fighting corruption in the country, saying “Corruption fight should be all embracing. Others should not be made saints overnight.
“The law does not tolerate that, once the case is in court, you must abide by the decision of the court, the government on its own cannot judge people or become a Judge in her case(s), there are procedures, you don’t publish lists of people and paint them criminal.
“The government that is fighting corruption has Anti-corruption agency that are saddled with the responsibility of doing investigations on those matters and charge those people to court which is the appropriate body that can make a pronouncement on those people.
Consequently, Ntufam Ukweni said that it was worse that their matters are already pending in court, and that it was terrible for a Minister serving in the government to have brought out the lists and publish it.
“To bring out a list and say all these people are corrupt, is like trying to gag the court that this is the position of the government and you must obey it. Government have already marked them corrupt people.
“So it is pre-judicial, it is not a proper thing, You file a matter in court, charge the people and then turn around and start giving judgement on it already, it means you are tying the hand of the court and more or less propelling the court that this is the mind of government.
“Government is suppose to be a prosecutor not an executor, if they have enough evidence to prosecute the people, the court then makes pronouncement.
“Let government be fair enough and bring out people who are corrupt in her government because, if it is PDP that has ruined the country, 75%-80% of the people in this present government are PDP members, the aggrieved PDP members, who themselves participated in the government from 1999 – 2015.
“What happened in Rivers State, was there no corruption in Rivers State in the last dispensation, what happened in Imo state, what happened in Lagos state, until the government is prepared to be fair, to be fair to Nigerians and be fair to the whole world, then I can say they are prepare to fight corruption, it is not the person that run to take cover under APC that has become a saint.
On the recovered funds, Ukweni said “We have heard so much about the monies that have been recovered and if that quantity of money have been recovered and it is truly recovered, Nigeria has no reason to go and collect loan from outside the country.
“They should declare the money that has been recovered and government is suppose to be accountable to it citizens and let Nigerians know where those monies are”