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Thursday, 22 March 2018

Abuja’s Top Properties Linked To Senior Bureaucrats, Says Presidency

Abuja’s Top Properties Linked To Senior Bureaucrats, Says Presidency

Okoi Obono-Obla

The Senior Special Assistant to the president on the prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla, says most properties in Abuja are owned by public officials.

By such admission, further corroboration is given to the often held belief that highbrow and upscale properties in the nation’s capital are owned by top ministry workers.

Illicit fund tracers of late say that these crops of owners may have moved to buying up offshore properties in places like Dubai.

Speaking in Abuja during the launch of DoroCorruption, an anti-corruption mobile app, Obono-Obla said lack of adequate information from the public is stalling efforts by the government to recover such assets.

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“My panel will investigate assets of public officers, but have you given us information on public officers who have assets that are beyond their legitimate earnings?” he asked.

“We know them. Most of the buildings in Abuja are owned by directors in public service. How much are they earning? You know these people, they are your neighbours and you don’t give us information. How then do we help the government fight corruption?”

He said the anti-corruption fight can only succeed when Nigerians speak out and refuse to condone the act which he described as an ill-wind that would bring no good.

“We need the support of civil society, the civil society should assist the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in getting information on those that have properties abroad but don’t pay tax in Nigeria. This would help in taming corruption in the country.”

Adeniran Akingbolahan, the special adviser to the vice-president on the rule of law, said Nigerians must learn to separate ethnic loyalties and other primordial sentiments in fighting corruption.

“Whenever we say we’re fighting corruption, we don’t know the magnitude. Nigerians don’t ask questions about how folks enrich themselves. Gone are the days when a good name was king, now we want quick money and move on,” he said.

The convener of the “Say No Campaign” and initiator of the mobile app, Ezenwa Nwagwu, frowned at the habitual abuse of judicial processes by some corrupt Nigerians, noting that this would send wrong signals to generations yet unborn that corruption pays.

The DoroCorruption mobile app is purpose-built software that informs Nigerians about the latest trends in the anti-corruption sphere, as well as provide members of the public and private sectors an avenue to conveniently report cases of corruption.

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