- Movements restricted
- Some ex-ministers on the run, others make refunds
A COVERT probe of 22 former ministers and top officials of the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan has been initiated by the current government to recover alleged looted funds which the Muhammadu Buhari administration aides say “run into billions of naira.”
A very reliable Presidency sources who opened up to Nigerian Pilot at the weekend on the issue, hinted that no fewer than 22 ministers in the immediate past government were being investigated for finance-related offences.
One of the sources said: “The new Federal Government is bent on doing things the right way without heating up the polity. So far, the people being investigated are cooperating with the government by making appreciable refunds of stolen funds back to government coffers.”
Another source who corroborated the development, disclosed that following a directive by President Buhari to the Directorate of State Security, DSS and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, soon after his inauguration on May 29, no fewer than 22 ministers and other appointees in the immediate past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan had their passports and other transport documents seized pending satisfactory explanation about their stupendous financial status “just within a period of service to the nation that was less than four years.”
He added: “Can you imagine, within this short period of the investigations, we are getting refunds? Last week, I can tell you that not less than N5billion has been recovered. It is still ongoing. Once the investigating team is satisfied, the former government officials become free to travel anywhere again.”
Jonathan had on May 10, 2015 at a church service in Abuja to mark the end of his four years in office, told his ministers and aides that tough times await them.
He said: “I believe there are reasons for everything. Some hard decisions have their own cost, no doubt about that.
“That I have handled the government this way that stabilised certain things, the electoral process and other things that brought stability into this country. They were very costly decisions which I myself must be ready to pay for.
“Some people come to me and say this or that person, is he not your friend that benefitted from your government? Is it not your government that this person benefitted from? But this is what the person is saying.
“But I used to say that worse statements will come. If you take certain decisions, you should know that those close to you will even abandon you at some point.
“And I tell them that more of my so-called friends will disappear. When F.W. De Klerk took the decision to abolish minority rule in Republic of South Africa, RSA, even his wife divorced him. I hope my wife will not divorce me. But that is the only decision that has made RSA to still remain a global player by this time. If we still had that minority rule there, by this time, nobody will be talking about RSA.