Expose real owners of N13bn Ikoyi funds, SERAP tells Buhari

Expose real owners of N13bn Ikoyi funds, SERAP tells Buhari
April 17 10:12 2017

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address the nation and expose the real owners of the 13 billion naira seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from a house in Ikoyi, Lagos last week.

The group, in a statement on Sunday by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, argued that the new whistle-blower’s policy must be matched with transparency.

“Democracy abhors secrecy, and for Nigerians to be able to hold elected leaders accountable, they must have access to information such as on the real identities of those behind the Ikoyi cash haul.

“This transparency is fundamental to the operation of the government’s whistle-blower policy, and inextricably rooted in the notions of good governance and the rule of law under the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended),” SERAP stated.

The group argued that continued silence would encourage lack of accountability and would give the impression that there was something the government was hiding from the masses.

It added, “Public scrutiny is a prerequisite for changing harmful, entrenched practices. Rather than operating the whistle-blowers policy as hidden, mysterious mechanism at the far edge of democracy, this government should make the operation of policy more transparent and accessible to the public.

“It’s clear that as the EFCC continues to uncover more suspected looted or ill-gotten cash, those blowing the whistle will need greater level of protection. But without outlawing retaliation and attacks against whistle-blowers, and taking a firm stance on protecting them, the incentive of bounty rewards would be negated, as potential whistle-blowers may be discouraged from performing invaluable public interest service.”