‘People who stole billions have no right to claim human rights,’ Minister says

Mohammed made the remark on Thursday, January 22, 2016, during a visit to the Women FM 91.7 radio station in Ogun State.

Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that looters of Nigeria’s funds have no moral authority to claim that their rights have been infringed upon.

Mohammed made the remark on Thursday, January 22, 2016, during a visit to the Women FM 91.7 radio station in Ogun State, Punch reports.

“The Federal Government is being criticised for infringing on human rights. This is not true. People who have stolen billions of naira have no moral authority to be claiming human rights when their theft left to the infringements of other people’s rights, deaths and suffering,” the minister said.

“We want Nigerians to weigh the matter. Fifty five Nigerians stole over N1.34tn in eight years. Should we now jettison the rights of 170 million Nigerians whose rights have been tampered with because of these few people who have stolen the country blind?

“When we start talking about human rights, we need to put the issue in the right perspectives. The granting of bail is at the discretion of the court of law and when there is a tendency that someone is likely to jump bail, such a right may be declined.

“While it takes just little time to prosecute an average offender, it takes seven years to prosecute a high-profile person for corruption charges. This is because the corrupt leaders can afford to hire the smartest lawyers which even the EFCC cannot afford to hire. Finance is crippling the operations of the anti-graft commission," he added.

President Muhammadu Buharihas been accused of rights violations due to the continued detention of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki on corruption charges despite orders of bail granted on his behalf.

Dasuki is at the center of the massive money laundering investigation and is alleged to have supervised the looting of the funds which were meant for the procurement of arms for Nigeria's military.

He was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) on December 1, 2015 and handed over to the EFCC the day after.

The former NSA is reported to have implicated several prominent persons in the deal including former governors, ex-ministers and members of the PDP.

Dasuki’s lawyer however denied the report that his client had become an informant while the former NSA said that ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan was aware of the transactions he had made.

Jonathan has however denied authorizing the release of the stated funds despite the former NSA’s claim that he got the necessary presidential approval for the transactions.

Dasuki was released on bail from Kuje Prison in December 2015 but was soon re-arrested by the DSS.

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