There are strong indications that the government of the United Kingdom might soon be considering to revoke the visas of Nigerians perceived to have plundered the nation’s treasury.
This indication was contained in a statement issued by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP) on Wednesday.
It was gathered that the chairman of the panel, Okoi Obono-Obla, disclosed this while briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on activities of the panel.
The spokesperson of the SPIP, Lucie-Ann Laha, who made this known in a statement, quoted Mr Obono-Obla as telling the president that the panel had also recovered N533 million and land worth N1.5 billion, all from the “previous management” of NEXIM Bank.
He said the recovered funds and property had since been returned to the bank.
Laha also said the SPIP was partnering with the UK’s home secretary to ensure that some public officers “perceived to have looted public funds and illegally acquired assets both in Nigeria and the UK’’ were prevented from entering that country.
Bear in mind that in May, the US revoked the visa of Raymond Dokpesi, founder of DAAR Communications and a senior member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The media mogul said he was informed that the action was taken because of the appearance of his name on the “looters list” released by the federal government.
But Obono-Obla said: “The panel has also compiled a list of over 200 past and serving public officers perceived to have illegally enriched themselves at the expense of the nation and the Nigerian people, among others.”
The SPIP chairman equally told Buhari that the panel was beaming its searchlight on several companies for a wide range of alleged offences.
Some of the companies, he said, are Celtel, for alleged tax evasion since 2005; Western Oil and Gas, for illegally drilling crude oil in Delta, and seven others for alleged failure to pay royalties to the Federal Government in about 10 years.
He said some multinational oil companies based in Egi Kingdom, Rivers, were also being investigated for allegedly conniving with unscrupulous individuals to dodge their obligations to the community to the tune of N38 billion and $30 million.
“Also under investigation by the panel is another company, which has failed to to fulfill its contractual agreement to dredge the Calabar Channel, years after receiving $12 million.
“The panel has also compiled a list of over 200 past and serving public officers perceived to have illegally enriched themselves at the expense of the nation and the Nigerian people, among others,” Obono-Obla said in the briefing.
Mr Buhari, according to the SPIP spokesperson, assured the panel of his continued support and non-interference in line with his administration’s stance on the anti-corruption fight.
Mr Obono-Obla said the panel would remain committed to its mandate, in addition to complementing the Federal Government’s fight against corruption.
He solicited the continued support of Nigerians to the panel with useful information that would lead to the recovery of looted public assets.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the panel was inaugurated by the then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo in August, 2017.