….Says AU, UN didn’t do enough to stop transfer of funds
Abuja (Precise Post) – Chairman of Centre for Anti-corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, Mr Debo Adeniran has stated that Treasury Single Account (TSA), Bank Verification Number (BVN) and others would have made it difficult for Abacha to loot the kind of money he looted in his days.
Adeniran noted that Abacha wouldn’t have acted in isolation in moving the loots without help from some government officials.
“There were several compromises of the integrity of some of the officials of the government that ought to have stopped the stealing. As soon as the Accountant General knows that the contract for which money was being earmarked is not likely to be executed, he ought not to have done any requisition that could be taken to the Auditor General to check and ensure that proper channels were followed before the money was requested for.
“And if the Auditor General didn’t sanction it, it was not likely that Abacha would have access to it because Abacha was actually not a signatory to any cheque.”
Adeniran added that “It takes the political will of those in government to stop stealing from the national treasury. I have analysed to you that if everybody works right, it is not possible that money could have been stolen in the magnitude Abacha was said to have stolen it.
“So, the only thing he could do was to earmark a certain amount for projects to be executed. Now, the release of the money has to pass through all of these gatekeepers. It is these gatekeepers that are supposed to stop it.
“Remember, those days, there was no instrumentality of corruption prevention like the Treasury Single Account, TSA, BVN, NFIU or SCUAML. If these instruments were in place, it would have been very difficult, if not impossible, for that volume of money to be frittered away from the coffers of government without anyone of the agencies knowing.
“For example, the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundry, SCUAML, would have stopped the movement of that humongous amount of money out of Nigeria.
“SCUAML works with even professionals because there are occasions when authorities will pay lawyers, accountants, building engineers and road contractors etc. for services they didn’t provide. But if all of them are registered under SCUAML, which is resident in the EFCC, it will be difficult for them because they have to render account of any amount that is in excess of N5m through SCUAML. If they did that, EFCC would have gotten wind of it and stop it. The same thing with the Financial Regulatory Commission of Nigeria, FRCN, which resides in the CBN! Such amount of money couldn’t have been with commercial banks.”
The anti-corruption crusader also pointed that the administration of the Central Bank of Nigeria then had question to answer as “Somebody somebody in CBN would know or would have been compromised. All of these accomplices should be rounded up and made to confess to what roles they have played in frittering away of our commonwealth.
“So, those were the people who would have stopped the stealing and the transfer of money to offshore accounts that are being discovered now.
“Beyond that, the African Union and the United Nations also have protocols on the movement of money, especially on illicit money transfer. If the right agencies have been working, they would have also discovered the movement of money from a developing country like Nigeria to developed countries like USA, Switzerland and the rest of them, and would have helped us to nip it in the bud.
“If they had done their work the way they ought to have done it, the monies wouldn’t be in those offshore accounts where they are being recovered,” Adeniran said.