Femi Falana slams Saraki: Falana said the plan is a mere attempt to to concentrate the nation’s wealth in the hands of a few people.
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has condemned the move by the Federal Government to sell some of the country’s assets to rescue the economy from recession.
Falana said the plan is a mere attempt to to concentrate the nation’s wealth in the hands of a few people.
The lawyer argued that selling national assets is in “total conflict” with section 16 of the constitution.
In a statement issued Sunday, September 25, Falana recalled how previous asset sales were characterized by corruption and short-changing of the people, for whom the government holds those assets in trust.
He asked the federal government to recover the official quarters of the chief justice of Nigeria, senate president and speaker of the house of representatives, saying they were illegally sold by the Goodluck Jonathan administration to Katsina-Alu, David Mark and Dimeji Bankole respectively.
The lawyer said each of the building was fraudulently sold for about N50 million, while many others in Abuja, Lagos and other cities were undersold to many public officers and their cronies.
“Apart from the recovery of the NET building in Lagos, which was sold to the father of a legislator for N4 billon instead of the market value of N75 billion, the sale of the other 531 properties of Nitel and other agencies of the federal government located in the various parts of the country has not been accounted for,” Falana said.
The statement reads in part:
“Under the pretext of offering solutions to the crisis plaguing the peripheral and parasitic capitalist economy of Nigeria, a business mogul, Alhaji Aliyu Dangote has suggested the sale of the remaining assets of the nation as a way of raising funds.
“The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, an unrepentant ideologue of currency devaluation and privatization has supported the call for the sale of the nation’s assets. Although Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki claimed that the senate has backed the sale of the national assets some senators have distanced themselves from the call.
“The assets being targeted for sale include valued properties, oil blocks and the interests of the Nigerian people in the liquified natural gas company.
“It is pertinent to point out that the suggestion is in total conflict with section 16 of the Constitution which has prohibited the concentration of the nation’s wealth in the hands of a few people or a group.
“Indeed, by virtue of section 44 of the Constitution the nation’s natural resources shall be held in trust for the Nigerian people by the federal government. One would have expected senators who swore to protect the Constitution to kick against the suggestion to sell the assets of the nation to a few people. But for selfish considerations a few legislators who may be queuing up to participate in the purchase of the nation’s assets are not prepared to defend the Constitution.
“If the senate is genuinely desirous to contribute meaningfully to the debate on the economy it should, as a matter of urgency, propose a substantial reduction in the jumbo emoluments of federal legislators which are said to be the highest in the world.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has said it has no choice but to sell off some of the nation’s assets as it has become impossible for it to fund the expenditure of 2016 budget.
The government, however, assured that the sales will not affect major national assets.