I’ll seize money from looters, grant them amnesty — Atiku


The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has said if elected into office, his government will consider amnesty for looters.



He said such a method would be more productive in recovering looted funds.



Such recovered funds, he said, would be invested in the country to create jobs, improve insecurity and grow the economy.



He spoke on Wednesday during a town hall meeting tagged “The Candidates.”



Atiku featured alongside his running mate, Peter Obi.



The former Vice President said adopting amnesty for looters had been helping in Turkey, adding that such a method is better than for alleged corrupt people joining a ruling party and be shielded from prosecution.



He said, “Why not? I give you an example of Turkey. Turkey gave amnesty and all the money taken abroad were brought back.



“The government said when you bring the money back, you don’t need to pay taxes; invest in manufacturing, technology and real estate.



“And look at Turkey today, it is like any other European country.



“There was a panel set up when we came up (during the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo). With that method, we recovered over $4bn.



“If we are to go into prosecuting these people, we would have been prosecuting them by now and that money would have been denied the country.”



Describing election rigging as a form of corruption, the presidential candidate promised to set up an electoral fraud commission to handle such cases.



He said automation in the public sector would reduce corruption as technology would be used than personal contacts which he said could provide an avenue for corruption.



He added, “On the issue of corruption, we can use punitive and preventive measures. We should be able to introduce technology in the private and public sectors so that relationship between government and members of the public is not personal.”



He also called for expeditious dispensation of justice, regretting that there is delay in justice delivery in the country.



He said, “There is too much delay in the judicial system. If we can shorten the delay so that justice can be done quickly, the better.



“The National Assembly and the judiciary should deliberate on the ways out.”



Atiku also said he was the most experienced among the nation’s presidential candidates.



He, however, promised to accept defeat if he lost at the February 16 election provided the election was adjudged free and fair.



He lamented that  the North-East, North-West and North-Central regions were facing  insurgency while it was only the North-East that had Boko Haram challenge when the Muhammadu Buhari led-All Progressives Congress government came into power.



He said during the PDP government, the country’s Gross Domestic Product was growing at six per cent, while it currently stood at about two per cent.



Obi agreed with Atiku that adopting amnesty for looters would be more productive and less problematic as it would help the government recover looted funds than engaging in prosecution that might last for a long time.



He said, “Is it not better to have an amnesty to bring money and use the money to create jobs than for looters to join another party and it becomes a safe haven and you can keep the money?.”
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