Former officials of the immediate past administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan have started refunding part of their loots, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
The statement attributed to President Buhari has confirmed speculation that former officials of the past government had volunteered to return such stolen public funds in exchange for leniency.
Addressing Nigerians resident in Tehran, the capital of Iran where he attended a summit of Gas Exporting Countries’ Forum (GECF), the president also explained why those accused of corruption had not been charged to court, saying that it was due to the need to build a solid case against them when they eventually go to trial.
He, however, assured that proper investigation was being done to get strong evidence to begin their prosecution soon.
Buhari pointed out that it was easier for him to deal with corrupt people when he was a military ruler because it was possible to arrest culprits and put them in protective custody compared to now where he must adhere to the rule of law under a democracy.
In response to a question, he said: “On corruption, yes, they (suspects) are still innocent. But, we are collecting documents and some of them have started voluntarily returning something. But we want all.
“When we get those documents, we will formally charge them to court and then we will tell Nigerians to know those who abused trust when they are entrusted with public funds.
“So, the day of reckoning is gradually approaching”.
The president also vowed to deal with power infrastructure vandals to enable the nation realise its full power potential, noting that even though his administration was yet to do anything in the sector, there had been a noticeable improvement in recent times.
He attributed such noticeable improvements to the decision of people to do the right thing.
He said: “I believe if you are in touch back at home, you would have been told that already, there is some improvement in power.
“We haven’t said anything to them yet. I think they only find it sensible or appropriate for them to try and improve the power.
“I’m sure you know about the privatisation of the power sector. Your old friends NEPA or Power Holding Company of Nigeria have been sold to a number of interest groups. But, the fundamental thing about us is that we remain potential in everything except performance.
“We have a lot of gas, we have a lot of qualified people but again, we have a lot of saboteurs who go and blow installations.
“Those who normally steal Nigerian crude and those who blow up installations. Whether they called themselves militants or whatever, they are still there”.