Looters’ list: Lawyers Fault FG


Some lawyers on Wednesday advised the Federal Government to presume suspected treasury looters innocent until found guilty, in an efforts to uphold the rule of law.

The lawyers gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

They reacted to the recently released list of the alleged looters by the government.

READ ALSO:   COVID-19: UK Economy Faces Stress As 40 Countries Ban British Flights

A lawyer and social critic, Mr Spurgeon Atene, said that the release of the list before pronouncement of guilt from the court did not promote the principle of separation of powers of the three arms of government.

Atene, the Head of Civil Litigation Department of L’avocat Legal Practitioners, said that the release could `gag’ independent decisions that should be taken by the court.

READ ALSO:   PPPRA Hikes Petrol Price To N140 For July

Atene noted that Nigeria’s Constitution provided for presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

“Therefore, the list can only be alleged.

The Federal Government recently released a list of some persons who allegedly looted the nation’s treasury.

The list contained names, amounts involved, date the amount was allegedly collected and where it was allegedly taken from.

READ ALSO:   FG Attacks Obasanjo Over Comments On Boko Haram

Atene noted that some of those on the list, including former governors, ex-ministers and ex-bankers, were already undergoing trial for alleged corruption.

Atene said that the list could tarnish the image of the alleged looters, some of whom might not be found guilty at the end.

“Before such a list can be released, there must be a conclusion that they have been found guilty by a competent court of law.

READ ALSO:   PANDEF Loses Chairman, Idongesit Nkanga To Covid-19 Infection

“Even if they have been arraigned, it cannot amount to a verdict of guilty”.

“In the court of public opinion, it appears they have been pronounced guilty,’’ he told NAN.

Ataene called on the Federal Government to allow the alleged looting to go through legal process.

“Legal process should roll without unnecessary impediments and disruption.”

READ ALSO:   Boko Haram: Christians Pray For Leah Sharibu's Freedom In Abuja

A rights activist, Mr Olusegun Williams, said that the release of the list was unnecessary.

He said that many persons on the list were already being prosecuted or interrogated by anti-graft agencies.

Williams also appealed to the Federal Government to allow the court to give a verdict before releasing such a list.

Subscribe to Our VIP Newsletter

Previous articleTroops Arrest Boko Haram IED Expert
Next articleCourt Grants Ex-PDP Chair, Bello Leave to Travel to UK for Checkup
Hamilton Nwosa

The New Diplomat stands for ethical journalism, press freedom, accountable republic, and gender-equity. That is why at The New Diplomat, we are committed to speaking truth to power, fostering a robust community of responsible journalism, and using high quality polls, data, and surveys to engage the public with compelling narratives about political, business, socio-economic, environmental, and situational dynamics in Nigeria, Africa, and globally. From our insightful reports of political issues to our riveting investigations and analyses of business, socio-economic, and cross-cutting sectors, The New Diplomat remains ever committed to investigative reporting and ethical journalism. Support and partner with The New Diplomat today, to guarantee a positive future for all under an atmosphere of free press!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here