President Muhammadu Buhari says his government is concluding plans to launch a special anti-corruption tribunal that would have the powers to seize cash and assets of Nigerians convicted of failing to explain how they came about their humongous wealth.
President Buhari in an interview with the Voice of America (VOA) said such people will be “asked to prove how they acquired the difference, otherwise, everything will be taken away and they will be prosecuted.”
This followed a question asked him about the status of his anti-corruption efforts and why no one in his administration has been arrested by the EFCC despite allegations of corruption.
He said he will carefully select the judges for the tribunal and “give them time and necessary evidence such as the bank balance and properties owned by individuals in comparison to their wages.”
According to him, if any of his officials are arrested, they should face the consequences.
“Well, there is no any other measure other than to ensure that whoever is arrested is prosecuted for all to see,” he said.
He conceded the argument of his critics that his government had performed bellow expectation in ensuring timely arrest and prosecution of possible looters.
“We should have had a lot more arrests and prosecution by now; EFCC has done a lot; they will investigate and send accused persons to court and Nigerians would be adequately informed. Those who are saying we have not done enough in that regard are right,” he said.
“By the time we set up these special courts and prosecute offenders, I am sure citizens will know that we are serious,” he said. “Those who embezzle public funds should be ready to face the consequences.”
“What we don’t want is to take people to places where the judges may not be able to convict them appropriately,” he added.
Considering that the country has less than 10 months before the next general elections, Buhari’s special courts may not come on stream until his second term, should he get it.