Benin City, Nigeria…The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ has endorsed the decision of the Federal government to prosecute Nigerians implicated in the Panama papers leak.
This ratification was contained in a statement released by ANEEJ executive director the Rev David Ugolor in his reaction to the announcement by the Buhari government that it would initiate proceedings against Senator David Mark and Bukola Saraki, and other Nigerians who were mentioned as having huge sums of monies in offshore accounts and operated secret accounts.
‘Since the publication of the said secret accounts, ANEEJ has been on the streets calling for the prosecution of Nigerians implicated in the Panama Papers leak. We have written letters to the Attorney General of the Federation, held discussions at the highest levels with the EFCC and joined forces with the most prominent civil societies in the land to call for the prosecution of those who were mentioned in the secret accounts in tax havens. We are persuaded that this is the right course of action and commend the federal government for taking this decision even though belated. Since the Panama Papers Leaks in April 2016, other governments have taken decisive action, heads have rolled, and prominent politicians implicated in other parts of the world have either resigned or were sacked outright. We wondered why Nigeria’s case should be different’, the Rev Ugolor said in the statement.
The Panama Papers leak has been described as the single most shocking revelation of the offshore accounts of prominent politicians and private businessmen who often try to avoid paying their taxes and who do not want to disclose the sources of the funds stashed in their secret offshore havens. Investigations by researchers often finger politicians implicated in the leak as beneficial owners of the said accounts and who often channel proceeds into financing and sponsorship of terror groups in Africa and elsewhere.
‘What the federal government of Nigeria must do after its commitment to prosecute David Mark and Senate President Bukola Saraki, together with other Nigerians in the PPL, is to see through it by working with the Panamanian government to freeze these illegal accounts being operated by Nigerians. A detailed investigation of the Nigerians implicated in the Panama Papers Leak will confirm the Buhari administration fight against corruption, shore up the revenue base of Nigeria and strengthen the economy.
‘’We also call on government to investigate property owned by politicians in places like Abuja, Lagos, and other parts of the country and the world. This is with a view to ascertaining whether politicians and top ranking civil servants who own such properties used proceeds from these illegal offshore accounts to acquire these properties’, the Rev Ugolor added.
ABOUT ANEEJ: To contribute to the emergence of a just and equitable African society through socio-economic and environmental rights protection, institutional strengthening and people’s empowerment.
For more information please contact:
Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku
Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ
39 Oyaide Street, Off Benoni, GRA, Benin City, Nigeria.
Advocacy Office: Plot 208, Zakariyah Maimalari Road
Off Herbert Macaulay Way,
Central Area, Abuja
+2348156171133, +2348187674339, +234(0)8059880550
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