President Muhammdu Buhari has constantly expressed his desire to make Nigeria corruption free. In one of his 2014 speeches as a presidential aspirant, Buhari emphasized his intolerance for this age long concern- “there is a clear linkage between the billions of Naira lost to corruption and the poor living conditions of our people: it is the resources meant for the development of our people that are diverted to service the greed of a few. It is the fear of the unknown in a country where both family and government social welfare have collapsed that fuels the avarice of those in offices to steal for generations unborn.”
Since he became president, he has continued to reiterate his commitment to battle corruption in Nigeria. While the EFCC has made considerable arrests, President Buhari is stepping it up a notch higher by soliciting the assistance of other countries in the world in order to end corruption in Nigeria once and for all.
On October 2015, President Buhari implored the British and Swiss governments to back the Nigerian government to ensure the recovery of stolen funds and both the British and Swiss pledged their support. In addition to these earlier steps, the President has reached out to the authorities in the United Arab Emirates in order to speed up the death of corruption in the country.
On Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UAE to ensure the following:
- Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal and Commercial Matters
• Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement
• Agreement on Trade Promotion and Protection
• Judicial Agreements on Extradition and Transfer of Sentenced Persons.
This MoU will ensure that Nigeria’s looted funds is returned. At least $200 billion stolen from the country’s treasury by corrupt government officials is hidden in banks and invested in properties in the UAE, according to local newspaper, Premium Times. The President also signed a Judicial Agreement that will help with the extradition of persons indicted for committing financial crimes in Nigeria.
At this pronouncement, the following people who are believed to be hiding out in Dubai may be returning home to face the law.
Mohammed Bello Atoke
Adoke is the former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation. Adoke who is allegedly hiding out in Dubai is wanted by the EFCC in connection with a $1.1 billion fraudulent oil deal.
The EFCC has earlier raided Dikko’s house reportedly in search of a large sum of money believed to be gotten through corrupt means. The former Comptroller of the Nigerian Customs Service who was not home during the search is believed to be hiding out in Dubai.
Maina was the former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, (PRTT). In 2013, he was declared wanted by the Nigerian police after the Senate uncovered a multi-billion Naira pension fraud. He has since sought refuge in Dubai.
Gen. Sarki Yarki Bello
Also allegedly hiding in Dubai, Bello is wanted by EFCC in connection with the controversial $2.1 billion arms deal. Bello was the former director of counter-terrorism at the office of the National Security Adviser.