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FG vows to name 200 owners of illicit property in Abuja

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President Muhammadu Buhari

ANEEJ launches tracker platform

The Federal Government has disclosed plan to unveil 200 names of people who own illicit property in Maitama Abuja.Chairman, Special Presidential Investigative Panel for the Recovery of Property, Okoi Obono-Obla, said this yesterday in Abuja during the launch of Property Tracker Platform by the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), which will aid in tracking down these illegal property.

Obla, who is also the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, said the Presidency would collaborate with ANEEJ and make available to it 200 names of people with massive property in Maitama Abuja, purchased with illegally-acquired funds, adding that the people must be held accountable to disclose how they got the property.He said: “That is why we have intensified fight against corruption. Anybody that has taken what does not belong to him should return it back to Nigeria, otherwise, we are going to track him down and force him to return the money back to Nigeria, and we are starting by providing names of 200 past and present public service holders with massive property in Maitama Abuja”

Commending ANEEJ for the initiative, he pointed out that the fight against corruption is not only the responsibility of the President, but that Nigerians and civil societies must be involved in the fight.The special adviser pointed out that Nigerians are reaping the impact of corruption, as there are no good schools, roads, massive unemployment, poverty and poorly equipped hospitals

He added that the newly-launched programme is also similar to the whistle-blowing policy of the Federal Government as the policy is not only limited to money but also include assets bought with fraudulent funds.Obla, who chided the National Assembly for not passing the Proceed of Crime law, said if the law had been passed, there would be no need for the President to have issued Executive Order.

Meanwhile, Executive Director, ANEEJ, David Ugolor, has said that the one-year programme with the website “Propati Tracka.com” was aimed at seeing transparency in property ownership in Nigeria and also raise awareness on the need to have property identification number like the BVN.

“We want to know who are the owners of the property, who is behind the property because we cannot say we are fighting corruption when we cannot track property built with stolen funds. Once we are able to track property built with stolen money, the incentive to steal public funds would be no longer there,” he stated.He said the programme was not to witch-hunt anybody but to drive revenue to government to fund the Social Development Goals (SDG) and that the programme is only targeting houses in Maitama and Asokoro.

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