Stop This Drama Over Recovered Funds And Reveal To Nigerians Owners Of The It: Rev. Mathew Kukah

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Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rev. Mathew Hassan Kukah, yesterday told the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to stop its drama over recovered funds and reveal to Nigerians owners of the monies.

Rev. Kukah, who decried the recent spate of discovery of huge sums of money by the EFCC without owners, added that it was demoralising and very humiliating for any Nigerian.

About N15 billion was recently found by the anti-graft agency at an apartment on Osborne Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. It followed other discoveries of millions of naira at Balogun Market in Lagos and N49 million at the Kaduna Airport.

Kukah, however, urged the EFCC to do their work with better decorum or wait till they have all facts and figures before going to the media. He said instead of embarrassing Nigerians, the Federal Government must speed up efforts at national integrity to give all Nigerians a sense of belonging.

He spoke in Kaduna yesterday at a seminar on “National anti-money laundering / counter financing of terrorism sensitisation” organised by the Inter-governmental Action Group Against Money laundering in West Africa (GIABA).

According to him, I feel more demoralised and very humiliated as a Nigerian. But the confusion is that we are dealing with monies that are of the sizable of budgets of some African states.

“I think it’s unthinkable that we are having such money running into billions of naira and we don’t know who owned such monies. Frankly, like I said, if I were a foreigner, my respect for Nigeria will dwindles seriously.

“Even me as a Nigerian, I feel quite violated and I don’t really know if all this theatre is the best way to go. I think that the agencies concerned should have less dramatic but effective way of telling us the work they are doing, rather than this endless washing of linen, whose owners we don’t know. It’s not helping the fight.”

On terrorism, the cleric noted that Nigerians must stand together and protect human lives, irrespective of who the victims were.

“Terrorism is not a big enterprise and I think that is where it’s a bit troubling. You just heard for example 12 people lost their lives in Southern Kaduna. Many bombs explode but only two to three people get affected. So, anything that continues to diminish human lives is an assault by our common humanity.

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai expressed concern on the level of hate speeches in the state. El-Rufai, who was represented at the occasion by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Idris Iyang, urged religious leaders to tread the path that would ensure peace across the state.

Deputy Director-General of GIABA Brian Sapati said the organisation expected that the seminar would  be a springboard for renewed commitment of all religious and opinion leaders to identifying key roles for raising awareness and shaping the morals of their congregations.

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