By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
APPARENTLY irked by the strident attempt by the Peoples Democratic Party to deny that its key officials siphoned billions of Naira from the nation’s treasury before and after the 2015 general elections, the Presidency has ordered the release of a comprehensive list of those it claims engaged in the massive looting.
A top Presidency official told Vanguard exclusively yesterday that the Presidency conveyed the directive to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, at the weekend.
The official said that the Presidency was miffed by attempt by the opposition to whip up sentiments into a purely criminal matter, which its top officials in the last administration committed against Nigeria and Nigerians.
The source said: “The President wants to prove to Nigerians that indeed the last PDP administration officials engaged in humongous looting of the nation’s scarce resources and that it is not something that they should trivialise as they are desperately trying to do.
“The government is amused that after a piecemeal list of looters was released last week, the suspects, who should be hiding their faces in shame and apologising to Nigerians for their heinous crimes, turn round to castigate the government all in a desperate move to confuse Nigerians.’’
Vanguard learned on Tuesday that in carrying out the Presidential directives, Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has ordered all heads of departments to furnish him with the names of those who took money from the public treasury within the period under examination.
The compilation, it was further learned, would include the names of the suspects, the amount collected, where and when it was taken and the purpose for which the amount was collected and if such a person or persons had been charge to court and what the state of the case is.
It will be recalled that after the federal government released its lists of looters on April 1, 2018, the former aide to former president Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, accused key leaders and members of the APC of being the major beneficiaries of the funds allegedly looted by former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki, (retd).
Omokri, described the list as one of the jokes of April Fool’s Day, having been released on April 1, a date famous globally as ‘Fools Day’.
In a statement on Monday, Omokri wondered why the ‘so called looters’ did not include even one member of the All Progressives Congress. “If the list proves anything, it is that President Buhari, Lai Mohammed and their APC are not fighting corruption. Instead they are fighting corruption,” he said.
He alleged that some members of the ruling APC collectively looted over $2 billion.
Omokri said, “I have taken the pains to produce a ‘teaser’ looters list of APC members who are collectively alleged to have looted over $2 billion (when you convert the dollar value of what they allegedly looted at the time they allegedly looted it).
But while releasing the names of alleged treasury looters on Friday and Monday, the Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had said that the list was based on verifiable evidence from the anti-graft agency, adding that the opposition was at liberty to compile its own list if they had credible evidence.
Mohammed had said: “The hysterical and panicky reaction from the PDP has shown that the party is not sincere about its choreographed apology. Were it not the case, the party would have followed in the footsteps of one of its leaders, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, who simply owned up to his role in the party’s rigging in the past elections and said he had turned a new leaf.’’
Mohammed said the Federal Government would neither be intimidated nor blackmailed into silence, adding that it would not relent until all those who looted the public treasury were brought to justice.