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Buhari Femi Adesina says President showed strength by refusing to name looters

Buhari had promised to reveal the names on May 29 but Information Minister, Lai Mohammed later said that the president was advised against making the disclosure.

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President Muhammadu Buhari with media aide, Femi Adesina play

President Muhammadu Buhari with media aide, Femi Adesina

(NAN PHOTO)
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According to President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the president deserves to be praised for refusing to name persons who stole public funds despite an earlier promise to do so.

Adesina made the comment while appearing on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics.

“Well, the president said he will mention names, but even if he erred, it’s better to err on the side of caution. It’s always better to err on the side of caution. It (naming those who returned stolen assets) came up and legal opinion was that it was premature to mention those names,” he said.

“So, for me I think it’s a demonstration of strength for the president not to have mentioned those names again, contrary to what he said earlier. It shows that he buys into the opinion of other people. Legal minds came up to say: ‘Don’t mention these names of these people yet’. It would have implications if you do so, and he bought into it.

“I think rather it’s something that we must commend and applaud rather than condemn. These recoveries were made from May 29 last year to May 25 this year. A large number of them are fresh loot, outside the Abacha loot.

“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.

“At the end of the day, we will lose monies that would have been recoverable for the country. What of the situation of those who want to return monies… because the government has been precipitate in mentioning names, those funds will not be returned to the coffers again.

“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 added.

Buhari had promised to reveal the names on May 29 but Information Minister, Lai Mohammed later said that the president was advised against making the disclosure.

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