#PanamaPapers: Falana Seeks Prosecution Of Public Officials With Foreign Accounts

Femi-FalanaHuman rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), on Thursday called for the prosecution of Nigerian public officers whose names were contained in the Panama Papers – a document that exposed wealthy individuals around the world, Nigerians inclusive, with properties and secret accounts in tax havens.
Some notable Nigerians exposed in the Panama Papers include embattled Senate President Bukola Saraki and his wife, Toyin; former Senate President David Mark; former Minister of Defence, Lt.-Gen. T.Y Danjuma (retd.), Alhaji Aliko Dangote and convicted former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori among others.
Speaking with reporters yesterday, Falana said that while private citizens named in the leak could be exempted, public officers among them were liable for prosecution.

He said, “Private persons are not prohibited from keeping accounts wherever they like. However public officers have always been barred by the Code of Conduct Bureau and Code of Conduct Trubunal Act from operating foreign accounts in any manner whatsoever.

“To that extent, former and serving public officers whose accounts have been published in the Panama Papers are liable to be prosecuted if they had failed to declare them in their asset declaration forms.

“Secondly, the onus is on them to prove that any funds in such accounts emanated from their legitimate income”.