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Buhari In US SERAP asks Trump to demand looters list from President

This is contained in a letter written by SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni dated April 29, 2018.

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President Muhammadu Buhari

(Presidency)

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on President Donald Trump to demand a list of looters from President Buhari.

This is contained in a letter written by SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni dated April 29, 2018.

The group also called on Trump to use his powers under the Presidential Proclamation 7750 to instruct the US Secretary of State to temporarily ban those named on the list and their family members from entering the US, pending the final determination of the cases against them.

This is coming ahead of planned talks between Buhari and the United States President.

According to SERAP, “Imposing targeted anticorruption sanctions against those accused of grand corruption in Nigeria would help to deter corrupt behaviour by high-ranking public officials.

“Such sanctions would not violate due process and presumption of innocence principles, if the reasons for the sanctions are communicated to those that may be affected.

“Also, the cases of those found not guilty of corruption can be revisited, since the proposed travel suspension would be temporary until the final determination of their cases."

The letter read in part: “Proactive initiatives to combat global corruption have always been in the best long-term interests of the US. Therefore, your application of targeted anti-corruption sanctions would reaffirm US commitments to the global fight against corruption, help to supplement Nigeria’s criminal justice system, and be entirely consistent with the US obligations under the UN Convention against Corruption.

“Nigeria has also ratified the Convention. SERAP believes that pervasive corruption is at the heart of the insecurity, under-development and extreme poverty in the country.”

“SERAP hopes that you will exercise your constitutional powers to promote transparency and accountability and reduce corruption in Nigeria. Presidential Proclamation 7750 of January 12, 2004 underscores the importance of legitimate and transparent public institutions to world stability, peace, and development.

“The Proclamation notes the serious negative effects that corruption in countries like Nigeria has on the United States efforts to promote security and to strengthen democratic institutions and free market systems and reiterates the importance to the United States and the international community of fighting corruption.

“Significantly, Proclamation 7750 underscores that it is in the interests of the United States to act to restrict the international travel and to suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or non-immigrants, of certain persons who have committed, participated in, or are beneficiaries of corruption in the performance of public functions. Section 5 provides that, ‘Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to derogate from United States Government obligations under applicable international agreements.

“SERAP notes that Presidential Proclamation was made pursuant to the Constitution and the laws of the US, including section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. Section 1 allows suspension of the entry into the US, as immigrants or non-immigrants of public officials or former public officials accused of grand corruption, which has or had serious adverse effects on the national interests of the United States. It also covers the family members and friends of such public officials who are beneficiaries of the proceeds of corruption.

“SERAP notes that the Nigerian government in 2016 published details of the recoveries, which showed that the Nigerian government successfully retrieved total cash amount N78,325,354,631.82, $185,119,584.61, £3,508,355.46 and €11, 250 between May 29, 2015 and May 25, 2016.

“Also released were recoveries under interim forfeiture, which were a combination of cash and assets, during the same period: N126,563,481,095.43, $9,090,243,920.15, £2,484,447.55 and €303,399.17.

“But the publication of the recoveries failed to disclose the names of high-level public officials, politicians and others from whom the funds were discovered. Consequently, in July 2017 Hon Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari following a Freedom of Information suit number:  FHC/CS/964/2016 ordered the Nigerian government to widely disseminate including on a dedicated website information about the names of high ranking public officials from whom public funds were recovered since May 2015 and to disclose the circumstances under which funds were returned.

ALSO READ: These 23 names on FG's new looters list will shock you

“The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami SAN publicly said that government agreed with the ruling and would carry out the order.

“However, the Nigerian government only recently published alleged looters’ list. Even then, the list is not comprehensive and would appear lopsided."

SERAP condemns looters list

SERAP recently urged the government of President Buhari to withdraw the clumsy, arbitrary and selective looters’ list.

The group said it looks like the Federal Government wants to serve a political objective or carry out political agenda.

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