Osinbajo seeks sanctions against banks aiding looters

Yemi Osinbajo
Ag President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday pushed for sanctions against banks aiding looting of funds from one country to another.

He made the remark at the old Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja, during the Conference on Promoting International Co-operation in Combating Illicit Financial Flow and Enhancing Asset Recovery to Foster Sustainable Development.

The Acting President also noted that those involved in looting assets and funds of their country are worse than drug traffickers and more criminal than crime against humanity.

He said: “It is a good thing that we are here with our partners who agree that not only are these stolen assets criminalized but that they are returned to their appropriate owners.

“There is no way that transfer of these assets can happen without a handshake between the countries that they are transferred and the international banking institutions in the countries in which they are transferred. There is no way it will happen without some form of connivance.

“We have to look at somehow delegitimizing those kind of financial institutions and criminalizing them, so that banks and financial institutions that actually engage in this be called out and made to face the consequences of engaging in criminal practices. If that isn’t done we are not likely to go very far.

“For there to be collaboration there must first be connivance. In the agreement and conventions we will be signing we must find way and ensure that financial institutions are not given a free run and hold them accountable.”

According to him, proceeds from political corruption has not attracted the same outrage that proceeds from narcotics and trafficking in persons have attracted internationally.

“It took years for some people to agree that when somebody loot money where people make decent living that is more criminal than crime against humanity, more dangerous than trafficking in drugs,” the acting President added.