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21 individuals, firms received N54b from Dasuki – Lai Mohammed

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*Says Buhari won’t stop corruption war over human rights’ claims 

 “The amount received by 21 individuals and companies from ONSA is more than the 2015 Zonal Intervention Project budget by 2.829 billion Naira!” – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of information and Culture, Lai Mohammed Friday said 21 individuals and companies received a total of N54.659 billion from the former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd) from the $2.1 billion meant for arms purchase.

Mr. Mohammed disclosed this when he met with Online Publishers in Lagos, in continuation of his ongoing consultation with key stakeholders in the Information and Culture sector.

According to him, “the amount received by 21 individuals and companies from ONSA is more than the 2015 Zonal Intervention Project budget by 2.829 billion Naira!

“Whereas the sum of 51.829 billion Naira was appropriated for 1,278 projects in the Zonal Intervention Projects for 2015, a total of 21 individuals and companies benefited from the Dasukigate to the tune of 54.659 billion Naira as we know so far.

Furthermore, the value of what beneficiaries of Dasukigate contributed to development is zero, compared to how the lives of Nigerians would have been transformed, poverty reduced and livelihoods improved by the Zonal Intervention Projects which would have cost 2.829 billion Naira less than Dasukigate.

He assured that the Federal Government will not regulate Online Publications in the country, saying the publishers are responsible enough to regulate themselves.

However, he told the publishers to ensure that they maintain their credibility, saying: ”If the online publications suffer credibility problems, they stand the risk of losing the confidence of their readers and the advertisers who provide the lifeblood for the publications’ survival”.

Mohammed said while the number of online publications is bound to grow in the days ahead, only the credible ones will continue to enjoy patronage, either from the readers or from the advertisers.

In another development, Mr. Lai Mohammed also said that corrupt politicians who are currently being probed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have no moral authority to claim their rights were denied when their alleged actions eroded other people’s rights and led to countless deaths and suffering.

Mohammed said it was absurd that after stealing the country blind, some corrupt politicians were busy claiming their rights were infringed on.

The minister said this during a visit to the Women FM 91.7 radio station in Arepo, Ogun State, on Thursday.

He said human rights claims would not stop President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war, adding that the Federal Government was not selective in its anti-corruption war as being claimed because it was only logical that the Peoples Democratic Party which was in power for 16 years should be the focus of the corruption probes.

Using a Yoruba proverb to justify his position, Mohammed said, “ Eni ti o ba ni iyawo, ana e o le ku.” This simply means that an unmarried man cannot claim to lose an in-law.

He said, “The Federal Government is being criticised for infringing on human rights. This is not true. 

“People who have stolen billions of naira have no moral authority to be claiming human rights when their theft left to the infringements of other people’s rights, deaths and suffering. 

“We want Nigerians to weigh the matter. Fifty five Nigerians stole over N1.34tn in eight years. 

“Should we now jettison the rights of 170 million Nigerians whose rights have been tampered with because of these few people who have stolen the country blind?

“When we start talking about human rights, we need to put the issue in the right perspectives. 

“The granting of bail is at the discretion of the court of law and when there is a tendency that someone is likely to jump bail, such a right may be declined.”

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