From Panama to Pandora Paper Leaks: Time for Nigerian Government to Act
BENIN-CITY, NIGERIA. October 5, 2021… Anti-Corruption Watchdog, the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has called on the Federal Government to prosecute all those found to have broken Nigerian laws in the global International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)-led Pandora Papers project report which revealed the financial secrets of not less than 35 current and former world leaders, more than 330 public officials in more than 91 countries and territories, including Nigeria.
Executive Director of ANEEJ, the Rev David Ugolor said such action should also be extended to all Nigerians named in the Panama paper leaks of April 2016, particularly those who served in the public sector, pointing that if diligently pursued, such could help provide resources to address Nigeria’s development needs and stop the Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) to such offshore centres.
“Names have been mentioned just as it were in the days of the Panama Paper Leaks and the reports are clear on their findings, this time, even helping government to point the relevant laws of Nigeria that have been violated by the patrons of secret offshore centres. The present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has a duty to ensure that all those mentioned both in the Pandora and Panama Leaks are made to face the law” The ANEEJ boss demanded.
“We recall that globally, the Panama Paper Leak sparked reactions, condemnations and protests. In Iceland, protests forced the Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson to resign. The then British Prime Minister, David Cameron announced new transparency measures and pledged to create a cross agency task force to probe Panama Papers revelations and promised to push for new rules that would allow authorities to prosecute corporations that facilitate tax evasion. He also announced that most of the United Kingdom’s dependencies, including the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands, have agreed to provide full access to information about the beneficial owners of offshore companies.
“However, In Nigeria, our government failed to act on the report in spite of the awareness created by Civil Society Organisations. We at ANEEJ organized a rally in Abuja, calling on government to investigate those mentioned in the PPL. Letters for such calls were submitted to the various anti-corruption agencies and was widely reported in both print and electronic media, but nothing happened till date. Now we have the Pandora report, our government should show to the world, its avowed commitment to fight corruption by moving against all those found culpable from the reports,” Rev Ugolor said.
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