Thursday, 21 January 2016

Why Buhari won’t spare Jonathan if ex-president is proven corrupt

Buhari to Jonathan if ex-president is proven corrupt

In Nigeria’s ongoing war against corruption, President Muhammadu Buhari will not spare anyone who has a case to answer, and his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, would face justice if guilty, presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, has said.

Mr. Adesina told PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday, when he visited the newspaper’s office in Abuja, that Mr. Buhari has “no accord” to shield any corrupt person from prosecution.

“There is no accord,” he said, “if the corruption fight needs to get there (making Mr. Jonathan face justice), it will get there.”

Several top officials who served under Mr. Jonathan, as well as his political associates in the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party, are currently being tried, or investigated by the Economic and Financial crimes Commission, for corruption.

A major case involves a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, accused of diverting $2.1 billion arms money, and sharing same to politicians and cronies of the former president.

According to investigators, Mr. Dasuki said he was authorized by Mr. Jonathan to release the money for the nation’s security programmes, and for the 2015 presidential campaign.

The spokesperson for the PDP, Olisa Metuh, also said he received payment from Mr. Dasuki after carrying out some assignments for the former president.

Those claims have raised questions regarding whether Mr. Jonathan, whom Mr. Buhari assured during transfer of power in 2015, that he had nothing to fear, would face prosecution should it be proven he has a case to answer.

Mr. Buhari has also been accused of bias against the PDP.

That allegations gained traction last week after his associate and party member, Jafaru Isa, was released by the EFCC despite facing what appeared a similar allegation as that against Mr. Metuh, the PDP spokesperson.

But Mr. Adesina denied the allegations against the president.

“There is no accord that if corruption is proven, it will not be tried,” he said of the former president. “With this president, nobody will be protected. And I underscore it, if it needs to get anywhere, it will get there.”

He emphasized that there was no agreement prior to the March 2015 presidential election that Mr. Jonathan would not be made to face trial if corruption allegations were proven against him.

Mr. Adesina denied Mr. Buhari’s involvement in the release of Mr. Isa after the APC member reportedly returned N100 million out of N170 million he was accused of unlawfully receiving from Mr. Dasuki.

“If the President had wanted to protect him, he would not have been arrested in the first place”, Mr. Adesina said.

He said investigations into other sectors, such as banking, and petroleum, would soon start.