The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has revealed that the past administrations from 1999 to 2022 stole public funds in the tune of $825 billion (N1.7 trillion).
HEDA, then, urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to investigate and retrieved the stolen money.
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This was disclosed by Legal Officer, HEDA Resource Centre, David Ogungbesan, when he made the call on Thursday during a protest to EFCC and ICPC.
Ogungbesan said HEDA Resource Centre, on 18th February, 2023, unveiled a research compilation which contained numerous cases of corruption and probes that have not made it to the court and have remained unresolved to date.
It was titled the research compilation “Impunity Galore: A Chronicle of Some High profile Unresolved Corruption Cases in Nigeria.”
The compilation contained cases investigated by either the executive or the legislative arm of governments; adding that the majority of these cases have not been addressed by the EFCC or ICPC.
He said, ”Most of these cases fill in one boardroom or one office. We are here to call their attention to these cases so that they can investigate these cases, then bring whoever is involved to justice.
“The amount involved is enormous; over 1.7trillion this amount cannot be ignored. Nigeria is in a situation whereby things are going backward, this money could help to contribute towards economic development, and help the Nigerian people.
“This money could help the federal government in providing infrastructural and social amenities and could go a long way”
He explained that the focus of the demonstration was to recall unresolved corruption cases depriving Nigerians of a prosperous nation and to also encourage public demand for action on the unresolved cases of corruption, especially the ones reported in the above mentioned publication of HEDA.
Ogungbesan said further, “It is not in doubt that the amount stolen by a few individuals, if judiciously utilized, would have taken Nigeria from a developing nation to a developed country where every modern facility and infrastructure, and social support are in place for the citizens.
“This will in turn positively impact the standard of living of the masses and further abridge the poverty gap.
“We call on all law enforcement agencies especially the EFCC, ICPC to rise up to their statutory responsibilities, irrespective of whose ox is gored, by investigating all cases of corruption especially those mentioned in the compendium.”
He said that Nigeria is currently in a precarious situation with the increasing hike in prices of fuel, gas, food and basic necessities and insecurity which have adversely affected cost of living and the government in its bid to increase its revenue keeps introducing new taxes to the detriment of business and citizens.
“It is our position that the anti-corruption agencies can retrieve these huge amounts of money for the country by resolving all the corruption cases. Thus, saving Nigerians from the current economic hardship and turning Nigeria into a prosperous nation,” he added.