Corrupt Officials Who Return All Their Loot Should Be Granted Amnesty, Onaiyekan Tells Buhari

cardinal123onaiyekanThe Catholic Bishop of Abuja Arch Diocese, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to pardon Nigerians involved in money laundering, so long as they are ready to return all their looted funds.

Mr. Onaiyekan stated this at the SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Nyanya, Abuja, as part of his New Year message to the nation.

The Catholic archbishop, who granted an interview to a PREMIUM TIMES reporter, who attended the mass, stressed that the ongoing anti-corruption campaign of the Buhari administration has shown that graft can only be eradicated over time, not immediately.

He also called for caution in the fight against corruption.

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“It is okay to expose people and disgrace them, but that will not solve the problem”, Onaiyekan said.

“If we want our money back, we have to strategize so that the countries that are keeping our money can feel challenged to return them.

“The time has come such that once we have those facts we can call those nations thieves that they are, and say bring back our money”.

According to Onaiyekan, the best strategy towards ensuring the return of the stolen monies would be to reach an agreement with the people involved in money laundering, to have them return what they have stolen.

“But the easiest way to get the money back is if you can convince the people to go and bring the money back themselves, then it will be easy.

“One way to convince people to go and bring back such money is to convince them that you will not disgrace them, after they have done that”, he stated.

He, therefore, said a special kind of amnesty might be required.

The Cardinal, however, clarified that his idea of amnesty does not include plea bargain, which only leads to the return of part, not all, stolen funds.

“This is different from the popular plea bargaining where you tell a person who has stolen hundred billion to return fifty billion and be forgiven; that for me is not the right thing.

“If you have stolen hundred million and you are ready to bring back all, then we will leave you and not send you to jail, Nigeria can do that”, said Mr. Onaiyekan.

He said corruption is embedded in the Nigerian system and therefore requires a systemic change to reverse the situation.

“It was built into the system, so the system must change, so that corruption can be fully dealt with,” Mr. Onaiyekan said.

The archbishop also charged the federal government to swing into proper action in the New Year, for the fulfilment of its campaign promises, noting that the beginning of 2015 saw various forms of campaigns, from all sides, with numerous promises made, adding that the success of the All Progressives Congress, which was built on a promise of change, would be the focus of attention in 2016.

“At the beginning of 2015, it was election campaign; the party that won promised change.

“We can say that from May (2015) till now, it has been a period of consolidating, making strategies and preparing.

“Now that we have entered 2016, it will now be a year in which we will now begin to see exactly where we are going and how we are moving”, Mr. Onaiyekan said.

He added that the movement will entail all of the nation’s all, with security and anti-corruption campaign at the forefront.

“Moving in terms of security, finished mopped-up operation with Boko haram, dialogue with those who would like to talk to us and forgive those who have repented.

“We must find a way to discuss, negotiate the peace and tranquility of our nation”, he said.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Is there no part of the bible which says that you must not condemn the innocent and set the guilty free? By pardoning the guilty, what lessons are you setting for the youths who are the leaders of tomorrow? By letting the guilty go free, the Bishop is sentencing hapless Nigerians who have been impoverished by the reckless looting of the treasury to perpetual poverty and hopelessness. But the God that the people of Nigeria serve who enthroned Buhari and Osinbajo after the people cried to Him, does not behave like the Bishop.

  2. These people we call men of God are real men of Devil…..is that what u will say to those hopelessly poor because of these recklessly rich bastards.

  3. Sometimes when most of our respected çlagy men talk, one fills like asking who made this priest? A question I want to ask Mr, archbishop is that, is he thinking it’s only in GEJ they started their looting? Will they return they ones looted during OBJ,Abusalam & IBB regime? I believe if they are not jailed for a maximum of 25 to 30 years after returning the last kobo the fight against corruption is in vain, again their name must be published on our daily news papers, so others ‘ll leant from it. Talking about pardoning them; have you asked yourself this question, if GEJ had won the last presidential election where do you think this nation will be heading to? To the rock of cause. Imagine somebody was given #2.1billion for nothing sake just because is a member of the party & you knew how many that shares the $2.1billion arms deal, while our soldiers were fighting the Suffistcated Boko Haram with toy gun, that even made some of them to be court marshalled & sentence to death that all most everyone was pleading all around the world on their behalf. And you are here pleading for amnesty for them, maybe they are members of your congregation.

  4. Sometimes when most of our respected çlagy men talk, one fills like asking who made this priest? A question I want to ask Mr, archbishop is that, is he thinking it’s only in GEJ they started their looting? Will they return they ones looted during OBJ,Abusalam & IBB regime? I believe if they are not jailed for a maximum of 25 to 30 years after returning the last kobo the fight against corruption is in vain, again their name must be published on our daily news papers, so others ‘ll leant from it. Talking about pardoning them; have you asked yourself this question, if GEJ had won the last presidential election where do you think this nation will be heading to? To the rock of cause. Imagine somebody was given #2.1billion for nothing sake just because is a member of the party & you knew how many that shares the $2.1billion arms deal, while our soldiers were fighting the Suffistcated Boko Haram with toy gun, that even made some of them to be court marshalled & sentence to death that all most everyone was pleading all around the world on their behalf. And you are here pleading for amnesty for them, maybe they are members of your congregation. Mind you Am a Spirit filled Christian, I believe we have must for this nation & God has answered us by sending PMD to rescue this nation.

  5. It’s possible to still without been caught lives of citizens has been wasted in the name of these so I suggest very reduction of time the criminal is going to stay in prison if he or she cooperate by handing over all the stolen funds to our government because the person or group of persons WILL NOT go unpunished because it’s possible to still without been caught. Yank you!

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