The African centre for media and information literacy (AFRICMIL) has called on the federal government to take decisive action on the N13bn discovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Lagos.
The civil society organisation said if not handled properly, the case “has the potential of totally dismantling the whistleblower policy”.
In a statement on Thursday, coordinator of AFRICIMIL, Chido Onumah, urged the federal government to be transparent on the issue of the recovered cash.
“The case has presented itself as the litmus test for the effective implementation of the policy going forward. We appeal to government to treat it objectively so as not to erode the support and confidence of the people in the policy,” he said.
Onumah also commended the momentum the whistleblower policy has brought to the war against corruption.
He expressed delight that “the success so far recorded was a pointer to the fact that the policy was proving to be an effective tool in checking widespread corruption in the polity”.
“Within so short a period the whistleblower policy has transformed the anti-corruption landscape to the extent that hitherto lukewarm citizens, the bulk of whom are direct victims of corruption, have started showing in the war against corruption by exposing hiding places of looted funds.
“We are all witnesses to the long years of orchestrated stealing and stashing away of public funds in our country. While a majority of Nigerians have been jubilating over the gradual recovery of these funds through whistleblowing, we hope that the perpetrators of this heinous crime and their accomplices would be exposed in due course,” the statement read.
The EFCC had discovered the sums of $43.4m, N23m and £27,000 hidden in a house at 16 Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.
The federal government is yet to make an official statement regarding the monies although it has suspended Ayo Oke, director general of Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA), following the agency’s claim of ownership of the cash.