Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP has urged U.S. President Donald Trump to proclaim a travel ban on corrupt Nigerian officials. The not-for-profit group, in its open letter, specifically asked Trump to ban those indicted for theft of $2bn public fund purportedly spent on procuring 12 helicopters, four fighter jets and ammunition meant for anti- Boko Haram fight. The group’s letter is targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the U.S. as a guest of the U.S. president.
SERAP’s Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, who signed the letter, said Trump “applying the Presidential Proclamation 7750 would be very helpful to Nigeria’s efforts to fight grand corruption and end entrenched culture of impunity of perpetrators”. SERAP believes such action will motivate other countries to invoke similar travel ban on the corrupt officials. The group further said it believed that “proactive initiatives to combat global corruption have always been in the best long-term interests of the US”.
More so, SERAP urged Trump to demand a looters’ list from President Buhari during their visit. SERAP said though the Nigerian government in 2016 published details of the recoveries, it however “failed to disclose the names of high-level public officials, politicians and others from whom the funds were discovered”. The group cited a ruling delivered by Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari, directing the Nigerian government to publicise the names of the said looters. “The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami SAN publicly said that government agreed with the ruling and would carry out the order. However, the Nigerian government only recently published alleged looters’ list. Even then, the list is not comprehensive and would appear lopsided.”