SERAP Task Buhari

SERAP, yesterday asked President Buhari to address the nation on the real ownership of the N13bn recovered fund.

SERAP said the President needs to clarify the issue, following controversy that now surrounds the funds.

SERAP in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, called on the President to also ensure legal backing for his government’s whistle-blower policy.

The group said: “Clearing the doubts surrounding the real identities of those behind the Ikoyi cash haul would demonstrate that the President values transparency over secrecy.

“This will further encourage more people to blow the whistle on governmental corruption and enhance the public’s right to know.

“The government’s increasing reliance on whistle-blowers’ tips to fight corruption has to be backed by some level of transparency and accountability in the real identities of those claiming recovered cash.

“Democracy abhors secrecy, and for Nigerians to be able to hold elected leaders accountable, they must have access to information such as on the real identities of those behind the Ikoyi cash haul.”

SERAP also said giving the whistle blowing policy a legal backing would ensure protection of the whistle-blowers “from any retaliation and attacks.”

“The policy of giving whistle-blowers some percentage of recovered loot would seem to be a game changer in the fight against corruption but this government now has to squarely address the significant risks that those who blow the whistle face by urgently working with the National Assembly to ensure the necessary legal backing that would ensure protection against reprisals and attacks.

“The government should ensure that the National Assembly expedites the process of passing the whistle-blower Bill, as ensuring that the bill is passed without further delay would recognise the necessity of whistle-blowers and the value they add to the anti-corruption fight by reporting otherwise unknown corruption-related information.

“It would also ensure that whistle-blowers are fully protected from any retaliation and attacks they may experience, and that the government fully appreciates the information they provide,” SERAP stated.

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