Alleged ₦11.9 Billion Loot: Establish State Anti-corruption Agency Now, Group Tells Kwara Govt - 9japarrot

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Sunday, 4 September 2022

Alleged ₦11.9 Billion Loot: Establish State Anti-corruption Agency Now, Group Tells Kwara Govt




The Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD), an anti-corruption Civil Society Organization, noted that it read a statement released by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Kwara State following the presentation of the forensic audit report by the contracted SSAC Advisory and Professionals Services to Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.

The statement said the report alleged some actors in the past administration between 2011 and 2019 to have carted away public fund amounting to at least ₦11.9 billion without any lawful tie to any project or program. 

ENetSuD through her spokesperson, SAEED TIJJANI said even though they have not read the said report, it commend Gov. AbdulRahman for initiating the forensic audit of the books of Kwara state between 2011 and 2019. Auditing previous spending by past administration(s) should always be encouraged, as this practice will reveal any form of mismanagement and loot that might have been covered or hidden in the past by the actors and their accomplices.

According to ENetSuD statement, it noted that however, despite not impressed with the way the present administration is handling cases of alleged corruption, as it appears that the present government is only interested in media headlines for political gain rather than the actual loot recovery in the public interest. For instance, the Governor has, since assumption of office in 2019, repeatedly been alleging the actors of the past administration to have stolen UBEC grant. 

However, the allegation has ended on social media and newspaper pages without any legal means to recover the allegedly stolen fund from the purported looters. ENetSuD had earlier advised Gov. AbdulRahman to prosecute ex-Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed if he truly stole the fund, but nothing has been done so far by Gov. AbdulRahman, the statement added.

The statement in continuation says; 

"We are not optimistic that the new allegation of looting of ₦11.9 billion by the past administration will not also end on social media and newspaper pages as in the case of UBEC grant and others too numerous to mention."

"We are also reminding the Kwara State Government of the need to immediately establish a Public Complaint and Anti-Corruption Commission (PUCACC) in the State, as there is a need to fight corruption institutionally. Corruption is the major reason the level of growth and development does not commensurate with public fund spent by successive administrations since the return of democracy."

ENetSuD advised that the Governor is further invited to note that he has the constitutional duty to abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power in line with section 15 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

"We advise that prosecution of the looters in the public interest will serve the public (and taxpayers) better than the perpetual allegations in the media without any action to recover such funds, especially now that the alleged looters have no immunity stopping them from being prosecuted." the statement added.

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