FREEPRESS – THE Federal Government yesterday promised to release the names of 200 individuals, who own property that was purchased with illegally-acquired funds.
Chairman, Special Presidential Investigative Panel for the Recovery of Property, Okoi Obono-Obla, said this at the “Tackling corruption through improving transparency in property ownership” project, which was held by ANEEJ in Abuja yesterday.
Obono-Obla, who is also the Senior Special Assistant to the President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, also launched ANEEJ’s new online platform ‘Properti Tracka’.
It was learnt that the platform will aid in tracking down illegal properties.
He described the platform as being one of the single most important contributions towards the fight against corruption.
Obono-Obla said: “Anybody who has taken what doesn’t belong to him should return it back to Nigeria or else face being tracked down,” he said.
“Properti Tracka will expose those who have taken what belongs to the entire Nigerian populace.
“We will start by making available to the public the 200 names of those who own massive properties in Maitama, Abuja, most of whom are highly placed people in the country, some in the government, some in the past governments.
“If they cannot explain where they got the money to build such massive properties, they should quietly return it back to the state.”
Executive Director, ANEEJ, David Ugolor said the Properti Tracka would help to unveil the owners of these and more properties and find out whether they were actually paying appropriate taxes to the government.
“The Properti Tracka is a citizen tool to identify these owners of illegally-acquired properties and also to push for clean property in Nigeria.
“It will also serve to strengthen citizens’ knowledge about using technology to demand for transparency and accountability in the property market in Nigeria.
“The source of building the property must be from a genuine source. We will be working with the Federal Government agencies, the tax office, and law enforcement agencies as well.”