BOB MAJIRIOGHENE COMMUNICATIONS
Editors, journalists, dramatists
6th April, 2016
Benin City, Edo State…Recent revelations in the Wikileaks of financial corruption around the globe, daubed the Panama Papers, indicate that about 140 politicians and public officials, including 12 current and former world leaders have used more than 214,000 offshore entities to hide the ownership of their assets. Names of Nigerians already being probed and tried for corruption and who have used their positions in public office to steal from the common purse have featured in the recent cesspool. I am inclined to believe that the late General Sanni Abacha used the same methods to loot public funds and hide them in offshore havens in Switzerland, Liechtenstein and the United States. Nigeria must take proactive measures now.
The Panama revelations have come at a time in Nigeria when very lean financial emoluments accruing from crude oil sales have nearly crippled our economy, subjected the average Nigerian to passing nights at fuel stations and perennial power outages.
‘I call on the Nigerian government to review our anti-money laundering laws according to global best practices, to curtail the ability of politically exposed persons to use their positions to siphon public funds to tax havens. If the government can at least develop and make public its asset recovery blueprint, it would go a long way in sending an initial message to the comity of nations that Nigeria is ready to walk the talk in the fight against corruption’.
According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, ICIJ, the organization which investigated the Panama scandal, 140 politicians and public officials from around the world, current and former world leaders include prime ministers of Iceland and Pakistan, the president of Ukraine, and the king of Saudi Arabia, and more than 214,000 offshore entities appeared in the leak and is connected to people in more than 200 countries and territories.
‘Since governments all over the world including the US, UK and India have started to respond to this monumental fraud, it would not be out of place to ask President Buhari to order the EFCC to investigate Nigerians whose names have featured in the Panama Paper Leak. We ask the international community as well to assist Africa in overhauling an international tax system which helps the few rich to be richer and impoverishes the poor’.
Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku
Bob MajiriOghene Communications
I Catholic Church Street
Ugbiyoko, Benin City, Nigeria.