Chairman of the 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, held by the African Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), in Abuja, yesterday on Thursday.
Obono-Obla, who is also the senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, also launched ANEEJ’s new online platform ‘Properti Tracka,’ which will aid in tracking down the illegal properties.
He described the platform as being one of the single most important contributions towards the fight against corruption.
“Anybody who has taken what doesn’t belong to him should return it to Nigeria or else, face being tracked down. 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 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.”
ANEEJ Executive Director, David Ugolor, explained that Properti Tracka will help unveil owners of these and more properties and find out whether they are 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.
“The source of building the property must be from a genuine source. We will work with federal agencies, the tax office, and law enforcement agencies as well.”