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Government must give account of recovered loots, says Solanke

Chief Judge of Oyo State, Muktair Abimbola (left); Alake of Egba Land, Oba Gbadebo Aremu; Ogun State Governor, Ibikule Amosu; celebrant, Chief Folake Solanke (SAN); Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu and his wife, Betty during the presentation of updated edition of Reaching for the stars and Essays on Law and Societal Issues written by Solanke to mark her 85th birthday in Ibadan… yesterday. PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM

First female Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Chief Folake Solanke, has asked the Federal Government to account for all recovered looted funds.

The legal luminary who celebrated her 85th birthday yesterday said Nigerians are traumatised and eager to know how recovered funds are spent to correct the belief that such monies end up in private pockets.

To achieve this, she advised the Federal Government to establish a registry for recovered national assets, which will regularly publish information on the amount of stolen loot and what was recovered.

According to her: “Nigerians need urgent information on a regular basis on how much has been recovered from the looters? Where is the recovered money being kept? Is it in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)? How is it being applied? Is it being utilised for the payment of monthly allocations to states?

“I recommend that a registry for recovered national assets be established. The registry will publish regularly, maybe monthly, details of recovered stolen goods both in the traditional media and online. It should also publish information on how much is being disbursed and for what. Such important information is currently lacking.”

Solanke added: “There should be strict rules on how funds are recovered. The whole operation should be on video in order to ensure that the funds are fully accounted for after transportation from the place of crime.”

She stated further: “People are now so traumatised that they cannot even recognise the standard expectations of a normal society in the 21st century. They laugh when they should weep over the failures of successive governments in Nigeria. Imagine there was outage at the airport and the place was thrown in pitch darkness, and all that some of the airport authority staff did was to laugh and say, ‘Welcome to Nigeria’ as if that is an accepted norm. No, it is not. It is catastrophic that Nigerians do not even expect anything better.”

“No lamentation for a near-failed state situation after successive governmental failures to fix the power debacle. We cannot laugh off our disaster, disgrace and the mockery of foreigners arriving at our borders. We must demand better governance and not throw up our arms in capitulation. The time is now to address the current disparity in the income of those who have everything and those who have nothing,” Solanke added.

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