Buhari media chat.
President Buhari this evening hosted his maiden Presidential Media Chat since assuming office on May 29 this year. The journalists that interviewed are: Kayode Akintemi (Channels TV), Munir Dan Ali (Daily Trust), Ngozi Anyaegbulam (Media World International), and Ibanga Isine (Premium Times). During the chat, he spoke on many issues. Read all that after the cut...
How are we doing with the fight against corruption?
"Thirty years ago as Head of State, we collected those we perceived to be corrupt and put them in protective custody, until they prove they were not guilty. At present, those suspected of being corrupt are innocent until they are proven guilty.
"We have documents showing Nigerian crude oil was lifted illegally and proceeds are put into personal accounts instead of Government account. We are in court with suspected corrupt persons and we cannot comment until the court are through.We can only appeal to Nigerians to be patient."
"Our constraint is that the accused persons have to defend themselves in court to defend themselves. So, we cannot release their names to the public until the issues are completed in court. Whatever we recover will be presented in court. "The documentation in court include bank statements and documents from Customs Service that are to be presented in court. Until then, we ask Nigerians to have patience."
"We have to be patient and await outcome of courts decision. Government will only react through the Ministry of Justice after the courts have finished with matters before them. "We have documents showing where monies have been lodged."
Is there need to rejig the EFCC, ICPC?
"We have to be very sure of the documents we get and we have to cross check records sometimes across countries and in the EFCC. Those who were engaged in the theft of oil were people of substance and have the wealth to hire the best of lawyers to defend them.
We need to submit fool-proof documents to succeed in prosecution.
How many people have ICPC prosecuted in the past? That is why we are being thorough now. By the end of first quarter of next year, we would be in a position to tell Nigerians how far we have gone. By the end of the first quarter of next year, we will tell Nigerians how far we have gone on the fight against corruption. I swore by the Holy Koran to defend the country's constitution and the law. So, we will not put any body above the law".Asset declaration not so public after all, not fully made.
"I have declared my assets four times in the past. You have the constitutional right to go to the relevant government agency to go and seek for it. "They were deposited at the Ministry of Justice. If Ministry of Justice cannot produce my asset declaration form, then they too should answer some questions.
"Why me alone, why not others who were governors and Ministers as well. I think I don't have to ask them to give, it is your constitutional role."Regarding the continuous detention of Sambo Dasuki and Nnamdi Kanu: Buhari said, "If you see the atrocities those committed against this country, we can't allow them to jump bail."