Nigerian minister of information, Lai Mohammed, on Monday alleged that former government workers, governors, cabinet ministers and others stole around $9 billion from Nigeria’s treasury.
The minister made the allegations as he kicked off a “national sensitization campaign,” appealing to Nigerian populace to join the fight against corruption that is crippling Africa’s biggest economy.
In his speech, the looted 1.35 trillion Nigeria naira could have educated 4,000 Children through university or built 36 modern hospital.
According to the information minister, the money was stolen between 2006 and 2013, though he did not identify the 55 accused but said businessmen and bankers are among them. This include $2.1 billion meant to buy weapons to fight Boko Haram militants that has killed over 20,000 people but was diverted to the election campaign of former President Goodluck Jonathan and his party.
Lai Mohammed has once again denied that the on-gong war against corruption was a vendetta against the opposition, “If we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.” The Nigeria judiciary system is critical to the fight, he added.
However, three different courts have granted bail to Jonathan’s former national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki, who is accused of being instrumental in the theft of the $2.1 billion and has said he diverted the money on Jonathan’s orders. President Muhammadu Buhari insisted on thorough investigation before letting the former adviser out of detention.