The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, last night said he would consider granting amnesty to corrupt persons willing to surrender their loot.
Atiku said this while appearing with his running mate, Mr. Peter Obi, at a live town hall programme hosted by ace journalist, Kadaria Ahmed.
He said he would consider drawing a line during which corrupt former public officials would be allowed to return their loot without prosecution.
According to him, after then, strong policies would be put in place to prevent and fight corruption.
Atiku, according to Premium Times, said it would be more prudent to allow looters return their assets to Nigeria tax-free and invest them in order to boost the country’s economy.
The host, Kadaria Ahmed, suggested that Atiku’s proposal could be morally problematic, especially since he has faced corruption allegations since leaving office as Nigeria’s vice president in 2007.
“If you are to go and be prosecuting these people, you will still be prosecuting them and would not get the money,” he said.
He suggested that a similar scheme under past administration yielded over $4 billion.
“Whether it is moral rectitude that you want to achieve or you want to see a fast development of your country,” Atiku asked rhetorically.
The position was backed by Atiku’s running mate, Obi, who said it is better than to allow looters keep their plunder just by joining another political party.
Obi’s statement appears a jibe at President Muhammadu Buhari, who has been repeatedly accused of tolerating corruption amongst his political associates while going after opposition members.
Obi said the Buhari administration has fought elusive corrupt people at the detriment of the Nigerian economy, which he said has been haemorrhaging jobs since the government was inaugurated in 2015.
Buhari has denied going after opposition members.