Nigeria opposition leaders stole $0.5M from treasury

Nigeria: ‘Looters list’ implicates ex-ruling party
– Former ruling party calls list sign of desperation ahead of next year’s elections, when it hopes to regain power
By Rafiu Ajakaye
LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) – Some two dozen top members of Nigeria’s former ruling party were accused over the weekend of massively “looting” funds from public coffers when they were in power.
In a statement on Sunday night, Lai Mohamed, Nigeria’s information minister, specifically mentioned at least 24 top opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders and the amount they allegedly stole from the treasury — a day after Mohamed identified PDP chief Uche Secondus as a beneficiary of the stealing of funds meant for fighting terrorist group Boko Haram.
The PDP was in power between 1999 and 2015 and is presently angling to oust the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in next year’s elections. The party accused the APC of failing to deliver on its campaign promises amid unceasing claims by the APC that the PDP looted the till and failed to save for the country’s future.
Secondus rejected claims he took $556,000 from the arms fund, saying he would be suing the government.
Regardless, Mohamed said a total of $7.4 billion and £5.5 million ($7.72 million) was allegedly stolen by the 24 individuals — including army chiefs who served under then- President Goodluck Jonathan — who are all currently standing corruption trials and have been made to return part of the funds to the public coffers.
“What was the PDP expecting when it challenged the government to name the looters of the public treasury under the party’s watch? Did the PDP actually believe that the massive looting under its watch was a joke? Did they think it is April Fool?” Mohamed said.
The PDP has countered that the list is underhanded and shows the government’s desperation to forcibly convict its leaders who are standing trial. It also accused the Muhammadu Buhari administration of riding to power through funds made from corrupt elements within the ruling APC.–AA

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