Reno Omokri, an ex-media aide to the former president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari and members of his cabinet of looting public funds.
Omokri, in a statement released on Monday, April 16 listed names of some cabinet members of President Buhari, who according to him, have collectively looted about $30 billion from the national treasury.
He said he released the list in response to the news that Lai Mohamed, the Minister of Information, is planning to release a third list of looters.
He said, “It was with great amusement that I received news that the minister for propaganda, the rightly and prophetically named Lai Mohammed, was planning on releasing a new looters list. The nation was witness to the flop of the pathetic looters lists he had earlier drawn up which read more like a list of noise makers drawn up by a primary school class captain who wanted to implicate his enemies.
“After having been shamed at home and abroad for its one sided and fallacious list, the Buhari administration wants to redeem itself by releasing a third list, which from the look of things, will go into infamy like its two elder brothers.”
Omokri also noted that Lai Mohammed and Garba Shehu, had condemned the release of alleged list of looters of public treasury by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, under its pioneer chairman, Nuhu Ribadu in 2007.
He said, “In any case, Nigerians and the international community may find the list below to be a more credible list and I call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission to investigate, interrogate and prosecute those contained therein, especially as I have produced details and named names, dates, and amounts involved which stand at over $30 billion.”
“Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. There are many others, including a South-South ex-Governor who is close to President Buhari, whose security vote was incredibly substantial, but unless I have hard documentary evidence or eyewitness testimony, I have avoided listing such persons.”
The names on the list are as follows:
President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Osinbajo, Ibe Kachikwu, and Maikanti Baru, who he accused of looting the treasury though payment of fuel subsidy. He said that the president who had accused the Jonathan administration of scamming Nigerians through the scheme during the 2015 election campaign is now paying₦1.4 trillion annually for fuel subsidy into private pockets.
Rochas Okorocha and Malam Nasir El-Rufai who Omokri claims were implicated in secret memos found on Wikileaks with the Canonical ID:06ABUJA483_a, and Canonical ID:06ABUJA483 to be embezzlers of public funds having come into possession of vast wealth overnight.
Abubakar Malami who is the current Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice was said to have “spuriously” hired lawyers at a cost to the Federal Government of ₦6 billion, to handle the repatriation of looted Abacha funds of $321 million (it would seem that contrary to President Buhari’s publicly stated position, Abacha did loot) which was later discovered that the immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke, had finished up the matter and there was no need for the engagement of the lawyers in the first place.
Adebayo Shittu who is currently serving as the minister of communications is said to own 12 luxury houses in Abuja, Lagos, and Ibadan and recently bought a brand new ₦93 million printing press. This is in addition to 25 luxury vehicles. The total value of this largesse the minister has suddenly accrued, according to his aide, is conservatively estimated at ₦2 billion.
However, On March 12, 2018, Shittu’s Special Assistant on media, Victor Oluwadamilare, revealed in a letter leaked to the media, that whereas Shittu was struggling financially prior to joining President Buhari’s cabinet.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, the current minister of power, works and housing was said to have spent ₦78 million on his personal website. Moreover, Info Access Plus, the company that got the said contract, released a statement stating that it received only ₦10 million from the Lagos state government for the website contract.
The company further revealed that the website, www.fashola.com, already existed and the contract was only for ‘upgrading’ the site. Another allegation that Fashola awarded a ₦139m contract for the drilling of two boreholes at the government secretariat.
This amount was equivalent to $900,000 at the time the contract was awarded. It goes without saying that two boreholes can be sunk for less than 5% of the amount expended by Fashola.
Rauf Aregbesola, the governor of Osun State was accused of involvement in a ₦8.6 billion plot involving the provision of tablets to students across the state. It was reported in several investigating journals that the contract to provide schools in Osun state with the tablet nicknamed ‘Opon Imo’ was awarded to a firm linked to Governor Rauf Aregbesola‘s son.
Usman Yusuf, the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme was suspended by the minister of health for allegedly misappropriating approximately ₦1 billion.
Lai Mohammed, the current minister of information and author of the Federal Government’s looters’ lists, Mr. Lai Mohammed was alleged to have used his office to intimidate a parastatal under his ministry to engage in unethical practices and to have allegedly begged his subordinates at the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for a 'loan' of ₦13 million to enable him travel to China.
Ibrahim Magu, current boss of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was alleged to have been leaking sensitive information to opponents.
Magu is also said to be involved in re-looting the recovered loot funds totaling ₦739 billion.
Omokri concluded that the present administration should accept the truth about the unprecedented corruption, ineptitude, and nepotism among its officials, citing comments from members of the president’s cabinet implying that Nigeria fared better under Goodluck Jonathan’s regime.
“However, even members of President Buhari’s cabinet have testified publicly to the fact that the President, his Vice and their fallacious minister of information have falsely accused the previous government.
Speaking on February 1, 2018 at a civil society engagement workshop on the Power Sector Recovery Programme in Abuja, the minister of works, power and housing, Babatunde Fashola, in trying to defend himself from allegations of ineptitude as regards the epileptic power supply in the country, ended up vindicating both Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP, albeit unintentionally.
“At that event, Mr. Fashola said, ‘We hear all our so-called experts who say (non-availability of) power is why the economy of Nigeria is not growing. That is not factual and it is not correct. At the time when we had less power in 2013 and 2014, THE ECONOMY OF THIS COUNTRY WAS GROWING AT SEVEN PERCENT PER ANNUM. We had less power then than we have now, but the economy was growing.’