The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, on Saturday told a story unknown before that he and Chief Olusegun Obasanjo while in office allowed some looters to go free without facing prosecution on his advice.
Atiku made this disclosure during an interactive session organised by the Arewa Joint Committee held at the Arewa House, Kaduna on Saturday while flattering himself that their administration succeeded in war against corruption.
He said, he approached Obasanjo upon receipt of intelligence surrounding some loots, and convinced the latter that instead of dragging the looters to court and spending years in prosecution without any reasonable success, they should allowed them to keep some shares of it and relinquish the rest to the government, adding that the design led to the recovery of $2.8bn.
His words, “The issue of corruption is multi-dimensional. When we came into office we had evidence from the investigative bodies of the list of people who stole money and where the money had been kept. So I went to Mr President and I said if we say we are going to prosecute all these people, we will spend the next 10 years until we leave office, we will not be able to jail them, we will not get the money.
“So, he said, ‘what do you propose? ’Then I proposed we set up a panel, to call each and everyone of them confidentially. Then he set up a panel, he made me the chairman, made the attorney general a member.
“We started calling them one by one, and say we have evidence you have stolen money and this is where the money is, return the money and we give you two or five per cent and within a few months we collected $2.8bn.
“Since then no government has been able to recover stolen money and some of the people that recovered money have even returned to Nigeria contested elections, they were in the National Assembly, they are governors and so on and so forth.”