Lawmaker Opposes Bill Seeking Amnesty for Looters


James Emejo in Abuja

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Ad hoc-Committee on US/Nigeria Relations, Hon. Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonayinma (Edo, PDP), has expressed disgust with the proposed bill seeking to grant amnesty to treasury looters in the country.

The proposed bill, which is being promoted by Hon. Linus Okorie (PDP, Ebonyi) canvasses full and complete amnesty for suspected looters of public treasury and further seeks to shield them from any probe, inquiry or prosecution; and “shall not be compelled to disclose the source of their looted funds’ as long as they invest their wealth in Nigeria.”

But Agbonayinma, in an interaction with THISDAY, described the purported bill as “satanic” vowing that it will be torn to shreds at its next deliberations at plenary.

He said: “We the 360 members in the House will mobilise against the bill and ensure that it is buried immediately it is introduced on the floor of the House.

“I can assure you of that because such a satanic bill can never be allowed to sail through as its output will be retroactive and will further encourage corruption that has eaten so deep into the fabric of our society.

“As for those peddling rumours that the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara is the one behind it, they should shut their traps because Dogara cannot support a bill that will be counterproductive in Nigeria.

According to him: “Many Nigerians have been jailed for stealing just N1000 and we are proposing a bill that will further promote cooruption, no way it can’t happen as we can’t make separate laws for treasury looters in this country.”

Last week, the Executive Director of SERAP, Adetokunbo Mumuni, in an open letter to the House, urged the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, to allow justice and accountability prevail in grand corruption cases.

According to him: “The amnesty bill for suspected looters unquestionably conflicts with Nigeria’s
obligations under the UN Convention Against Corruption to establish territorial criminal jurisdiction over corrupt acts, prosecute offenders, and apply prescribed sanctions through fair trial.”