A handful of high-ranking officials in the former administration of President Goodluck Jonathan have started returning looted funds.
According to reports, the officials are begging the federal government and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) not to put them on trial.
Four of the ex-top government officials have refunded N1.4billion in the last one week, a source disclosed on Friday, April 1.
However, a few others are said to have opted to face trial instead of returning money which they claimed has already been spent on the 2015 presidential campaign.
Those affected have been mounting pressure on the presidency, the EFCC and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, for soft landing against trial but the government is yet to take a position on whether or not those who have shown remorse will be prosecuted.
A source revealed:
One of those who served under the former President has returned about N750million given to him by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) for campaign. He was able to make up because he didn’t spend the cash. He kept it for private use. Some have paid back more than N650million. A former minister has pledged to refund over N1billion. Another beneficiary of the curious contracts has promised the EFCC to sell a few properties to be able to return about N2.1billion. A former military governor has also refunded the cash advanced to him by ONSA to buy a house. Many of these former public officers and contractors are effecting refunds to avoid being named and shamed. They don’t want trial. Some have volunteered to serve as prosecution witnesses instead of going through the rigours of trial.
According to the officials they said the funds were privately disbursed to them by the campaign committee and PDP officials without telling them the source of the money ahead of the 2015 presidential election.
Mallam Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant on media and publicity to the president, on Thursday, March 31, claimed that the ONSA committee had recovered over N7 billion from those at fault. The indicted companies are to refund another N41 billion. But the investigating agencies, including the EFCC, will determine whether another N75 billion should be recovered from some of the companies.
Meanwhile, there seems to be confusion in the camp of Jonathan as his special assistant on domestic matters, Dr Waripamowei Dudafa has been cooperating with the anti-graft agency by leaking sensitive documents to both officials of the APC led government and the EFCC.