The Minister of Justice and Attorney
General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami (SAN) has enjoined Nigerians to
use the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act to get information about assets
declared by anybody mostly public officers at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

He further said that it was impossible for the government to say exactly the
amount of stolen funds stashed abroad. The Minister, yesterday, made this known
during a media parley on Open Government Partnership (OPG). He said that “I
think Nigeria is one of the limited numbers of nations that have, as a matter
of obligation, passed the Freedom of Information Act. Malami said Section 1 of
the Act gives powers to individuals, corporate bodies and personalities to
apply for information and have it made available by public institutions without
any restriction.

 “Section 1 of the Act vest powers in individuals, corporate
bodies, and personalities to apply for information and have it made available
without restriction.FoI-Bill “What I am saying in essence is that it is not
only a policy statement, but a demonstration of legislative commitment and
legislative action on the part of Nigeria as it relates to transparency of the
process; not only restricted to the Code of Conduct Bureau, but in all circles
of government.

” “I want to state that it is impossible to give you a clear cut
figure but particularly against the background of complexities of issues
associated with the recoveries,” he said. “Investigative processes are ongoing;
it keeps changing by the minute, changing by the hour, changing by the day,
depending on the prevailing circumstances.

 “So, against the background of the
complexities, against the background of the dynamics of the processes, and
against the background of differences in law, it is not a position over which
one can give categorical commitment which figures. But, that does not mean we
do not have an idea of it on case-by-case basis. There are cases that are
pending in court. There are cases that are subject to compromises and
concessions with parties. 

“So the heads are multiple, the approaches are
different, the jurisdictions are dynamic and such categorical disclosure of
figures is impossible at this hour because it all depends on the angle that we
are to look at it,” Malami said. Also at the event were the Minister of
Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices
and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Ekpo Nta,

 and a representative of
the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), David Babachir, and
Mohammed Nakoji. Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
(EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, and representative of the Chairman of the CCB, Sam Saba,
Dr Ademola Adebo also attended the event.

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