The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday said he would consider granting amnesty to corrupt persons willing to surrender their loot.
Mr Abubakar said this while appearing with his running mate, Peter Obi, at a live town hall programme hosted by ace journalist, Kadaria Ahmed.
He said he would consider drawing a line during which corrupt former public officials would be allowed to return their loot without prosecution. After then, strong policies would be put in place to prevent and fight corruption.
Mr Abubakar said it would be more prudent to allow looters return their assets to Nigeria tax free and invest them in order to boost the country’s economy.
Host Kadaria Ahmed suggested that Mr Abubakar’s proposal could be morally problematic, especially since he has faced corruption allegations since leaving office as Nigeria’s vice president in 2007.
“If you are to go and be prosecuting these people, you will still be prosecuting them and would not get the money,” Mr Abubakar said. He suggested that a similar scheme under past administration yielded over $4 billion.
“Whether it is moral rectitude that you want to achieve or you want to see a fast development of your country,” Mr Abubakar asked rhetorically.
The position was backed by Mr Abubakar’s running mate, Mr Obi, who said it is better than to allow looters keep their plunder just by joining another political party.
Mr Obi’s statement appears a jibe at President Muhammadu Buhari, who has been repeatedly accused of tolerating corruption amongst his political associates while going after opposition members.