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Tuesday 30 April 2024

Revive all abandoned high-profile corrupt cases against politicians now — Clark tells EFCC

Revive all abandoned high-profile corrupt cases against politicians now — Clark tells EFCC



…asks EFCC to investigate ex-governors

…urges Yahaya Bello to surrender himself to court 

By Henry Umoru 

Former Federal Commissioner for Information and South-South Leader,  Chief Edwin Clark has asked the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,  Olanipekun Olukoyede to as a matter of urgency, revive all abandoned high-profile corrupt cases against politicians.

The elder statesman has also asked the EFCC Chairman to as a matter of urgency, investigate all former governors who served the country, especially those who looted their state treasury as it is alleged in the case of former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello to enable President Bola  Tinubu to carry out his anti-corruption crusade. 

In a letter titled, “Revive all Abandoned High Profile Corrupt cases against Politicians by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,  EFCC,” addressed to the EFCC boss and made available to Journalists yesterday in Abuja, the Leader of Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF said that the holistic investigation of the Politicians has become very imperative against the backdrop that level of corruption in the public service and even in private business has reached what he described as such an alarming scale, just as he said that it has become a recognised way of the nation’s daily lives.

The Leader of the Southern and Middle-Belt Leaders Forum,  SMBLF said, “Mr Chairman, I am prompted to address this letter to you after seeing you on the television courageously and forthrightly speaking on behalf of your commission (EFCC) on the former Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency Yahaya Bello’s case which is already pending in the Federal High Court Abuja and as usual, some unpatriotic and misguided Nigerians have criticized you, branding your appearance on the television as media propaganda. 

I totally disagree with them and you are on the right path. 

“I sincerely appeal to my handsome and attractive son, Yahaya Bello to surrender himself to the court with dignity and stop engaging in pursuing procedural issues which some Nigerian  lawyers are manipulating in the media. The offence allegedly committed by him is available. 

“The real issue is that Yahaya Bello paid some amount of money to the American School, which was paid with the Kogi State Government’s fund, to the sum of $845,852. It is also true that the American School has refunded $760,910 to the EFCC which demanded for it. 

“It must be noted that the issue of bench warrant has always been an instrument used by Nigerian Courts to draw the attention of high profile Government officials that no one is above the law. It is not new to the court and Yahaya Bello’s case should not be treated differently. 

“Nigerians should ask themselves if corruption is a monster that must be defeated. Otherwise, we are in big trouble. As our Former President, Muhammadu Buhari use to say, “If we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill us”. Again, I appeal to the Nigerian public to support the new Chairman of EFCC in his crusade against corruption. 

“I wish to congratulate you wholeheartedly on your appointment as the new Executive Chairman of EFCC whereby you have taken over effectively from the past Chairman Abdul Rasheed Bawa. 

I hope you will definitely perform your duties effectively, impeccably, fair, and just without any discrimination, political victimization, or witch-hunting of political opponents and have the courage and ability to confront the so called sacred cows in our society. 

“I also wish to advise you that all former Governors who served the country and some of who looted their state treasury as it is alleged in Yahaya Bello’s case should be investigated by your commission with rapidity to enable Mr President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu to carry out his anti-corruption crusade. 

“Finally, I pray the almighty God give you strength, courage, determination, ability and wisdom to carryout this very important natural assignment to eradicate corruption in our society.

“The level of corruption in the public service and even in private business has reached such an alarming scale. 

It has become a recognised way of our daily lives. While the Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, and Directors in a Ministry carry out corruption and abuse of office at a large scale at a higher level, the lower ranks in the Ministry even including the clerks and messengers are also involved in minor ways of corruption by hiding files and documents and asking for money before releasing them. 

“A new trend has now increased the temple of corruption. It is ridiculous to say that some of the officers and assistants have increased the level of corruption in the public service. Some of those in the Presidency, Ministers offices, President of the Senate and so on demand money particularly in Dollars before allowing you to see their principals. 

“Corruption and abuse of office which unfortunately has become our way of life can only be reduced if there is political will on the part of the Government to prosecute all those found corrupt as emergency cases and given accelerated hearing or the Federal Government should create a special court for a period of time to treat high profile corrupt cases and not to allow such corrupt cases to be announced over the media and no further action taken.

“However, I deeply appreciate your courage and will power in reviving these high profile corrupt cases involving former Governors, some of whom are in the Senate shamelessly parading themselves as innocent citizens while some of them are today serving as Ministers in the present Administration. 

“It is therefore with great pleasure I read with satisfaction your recent release wildly published in the internet and some newspapers particularly in Sunday Punch of 14th January 2024 at page 3. You spoke the mind of all patriotic Nigerians who seriously believe in the eradication of corrupt practices in our body polity. 

“You revealed the names of these unpatriotic culprits who embezzled the sum of about ₦772 Billion, enough to rejuvenate our ailing economy. 

I join other Nigerians in supporting you to carryout with rapidity to complete the investigations of these cases and to expedite the trial of all those charged to court since 2007; who are not only in the Senate and Government dining and wining with Mr President but are also living lavishly at the expense of volatile and vulnerable Nigerians.

“You may kindly wish to visit this serious allegation by one of our best Chief Justice of Nigeria. 

The same EFCC for the reasons best known to it picked Senator Orji Uzor Kalu out of the many cases charged to court by the EFCC in 2007; charged him to court and his case was fixed for trial. Senator Orji Uzor Kalu was convicted by the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court on Thursday 5, December 2019 and sentenced to 12 years in prison for ₦7.65 billion fraud. 

“He was convicted for defrauding the Government of Abia State where he was a Governor for 8 years using his company SLOK Nigeria Limited. One of his co-accused, Ude Udeogu later appealed to the Supreme Court and Orji Uzor Kalu was not involved in that appeal but was no doubt affected by the Supreme Court ruling. 

On Friday, 8 may 2020, the Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled that the second accused, Ude Udeogu’s trial was wrongly conducted and released him from prison while ordering a retrial of the case at the lower Court.  

“Today, the criminal charges of corruption for which EFCC charged Orji Uzor Kalu in Lagos High Court are still hanging on his head as directed by the Supreme Court that the case should be retried at the court of first instance i.e the High Court in Lagos, even though, he got a temporary discharge by the Supreme Court judgement on his co-accused. 

Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, shamelessly ran back to the Senate after spending about six months in prison to assume a position as the Chief Whip of the distinguished Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, because we are in the country where anything can happen.

“Some of the former governors who were charged to court in the past ten years and whose cases have not been concluded by the court and which you have decided to revive include; Ayo Fayose, Rasheed Ladoja, Joshua Dariye; was sentenced and pardoned, Chimaroke Nnamani, Orji Uzor Kalu, Jolly Nyame; was sentenced and pardoned, Abdullahi Adamu, Lucky Igbinedion; enter a plea bargain, Sullivan Chime, Theodore Orji, Danjuma Goje, Aliyu Wamako, Timipre Sylva and Sule Lamido. 

Most of them have found themselves in and out of the Senate and other political positions and EFCC have abandoned most of those cases without trial. 

“They never went back to court to list most of these cases for trial. What type of society do we belong to in this country? Meanwhile, the EFCC are parading around that they convicted over 2000 cases most of whom are internet fraudsters and petty thieves. As long as we have sacred cows, corruption in Nigeria will continue to increase.

“Another Curious and interesting case was the serious allegations made against the acting Chairman of the EFCC at the time Ibrahim Magu by the former Attorney General Abubakar Malami and Magu also accused Malami of similar corrupt practices, including being unable to account for and the sale of forfeited properties recovered from suspected corrupt officials particularly in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt. 

Revive all abandoned high-profile corrupt cases against politicians now — Clark tells EFCC

“Ibrahim Magu was arrested, suspended, humiliated and detained and made to face a Judicial Commission of Inquiry headed by a former president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, where scandalous revelations of corrupt practices were adduced before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry; but today, no one has seen the report of that inquiry and Magu was later promoted and retired by the Police but the allegations made against Malami by Magu died a natural death.”

READ ALSO: NAFDAC does not regulate drug prices — only local manufacturing can help, says DG

Source: Source: VANGUARD nig

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