Prominent human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana has advised the Federal Government to abandon its plan of borrowing $2 billion from China, saying that such a move will plunge ‘the nation into more indebtedness.’
Falana urged the Muhammadu Buhari administration to instead, make efforts to recover funds that were not remitted or looted from the government treasury.
The said fund comes to a total of about $200 billion.
The senior lawyer stated this in a letter dated April 8, 2016 – which was addressed to the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun.
The letter reads in part: “In the light of the foregoing, we are compelled to call on the Federal Government to muster the political will and courage to recover the aforesaid withheld or stolen wealth of not less than $200bn belonging to the Nigerian people.”
“However, if you refuse to accede to our request we shall have no alternative than to initiate legal proceedings at the Federal High Court with a view to restraining the Federal Government from further plunging the nation into external indebtedness.”
The letter which was entitled ‘Request for the collection of outstanding revenue of $200bn withheld from the Federation Account or stolen by looters,’ further stated that: “In particular, we requested the Federal Government to embark on the recovery of the revenue of $42bn withheld from the Federation Account from 1999 to 2012 by some transnational oil companies, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and other agencies of the Federal Government.”
“In your reply dated March 17, 2016 you assured us that the issues raised in our letter were receiving the attention of the Federal Government.”
“We were therefore surprised to learn that the Administration had applied to the Chinese Government for another loan of $2bn.”
“In urging the Federal Government to desist from taking the loan of $2bn from China or any other country we are compelled to advise the Federal Government to intensify efforts to recover the nation’s wealth which has been criminally diverted by a handful of local and foreign looters.”