A non-governmental organisation and a human rights organisation, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Transparency international and Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism on Monday at a press conference in the Nation’s Capital city, Abuja, faulted the calmness of President Muhammadu Buhari over the leaked Pandora Papers scandal, describing it as worrisome.
The Pandora Papers is the biggest corruption leaks led by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, with 600 journalists from 117 countries, including journalists from Nigeria’s Premium Times.
While briefing the media, the Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani said the papers uncovered dealings by politicians, billionaires, influential individuals, and their enablers globally.
Rafsanjani also frowned at the continuing weaknesses in the Nigerian financial systems and regulatory deficiencies. According to him, it is the root of the annual loss of $18billion to illicit financial flows out of the country.
The Pandora papers leak is coming when Nigeria is reeling under the impact of the COVID-19 and the debt pileup that has continued to stoke serious concerns across political divides and among Nigerians and its development partners.
According to Rafsanjani, the paper presents the Buhari administration the opportunity to act decisively against corruption, aggressive tax planning, and other financial practices of politically exposed persons and their advisors and companies that threaten the country’s economic stability and corporate existence.
The groups, therefore call on President Buhari, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, and all anti-corruption agencies to immediately commence actions to investigate all the people and companies indicted in the stories and revelations of dirty financial deals so far published.
The group urge the Federal government to consider the following:
• Strengthen the Code of Conduct Bureau by digitising the assets declaration processes, documentation and verification, and the prosecution of violators.
• the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) needs to ensure that financial institutions fully carry out Know Your Customer (KYC), Customer Due Diligence (CDD) as well as Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) as required by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Inter-Governmental Action against Money Laundering in West Africa.