The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption, Professor Itsey Sagay, in an exclusive interview with Channels Television’s political correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, said that the last set of looting of the nation’s wealth was in desperation to win elections at all cost.
“What I saw from all I have put together is that this last set of looting arose out of determination for reelection. Money was being distributed recklessly and thoughtlessly in order to get back to power at any cost.
“The evidence is still hot, the witnesses are present. The amounts are huge and unprecedented; amounts that have crippled the government from functioning effectively.
“The only thing you can do is to go after those first and there is much. I can tell you that the corruption is at every level; from these prominent politicians to the lowliest civil servants and even private sector.
“But the ones in the public sector, over which these high profile politicians are involved, I suspect, (would make up) probably over 90% in terms of assets that have been stolen.
“Those are the things that have to be dealt with first because they are immediate. So it is not discriminatory, it just happened that the people in government are doing these things. We are all living witnesses of what happened in the NSA’s office.
“You cannot overlook those things and say ‘oh they may suspect me of being selective’. If you leave it then you have left the substance,” he said.
Professor Sagay gave the assurance that the present government remains committed to fighting corruption at all levels but acknowledged the need for caution.
“My personal view, not the committee’s view and certainly not the government’s view, is that the position of the President is a sensitive one. If somebody has been a president before he should be very careful in thinking of any physical thing like incarceration and so on.”
He added, “Efficient investigation, effective prosecution, speedy adjudication and effective sanctions. Those are the four policies we are working on.
“You’re going to see slowness at the beginning but the results, when they begin to come, will make a great impact – a decisive departure from the past.”