By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has described the President Muhammadu Buhari’s-led administration of a stinking can of corruption.
Frank was reacting to claims by Prof. Itse Sagay – chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) – in an interview with a national daily, that President Muhammadu Buhari is being soft on corrupt politicians in his cabinet and within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in order to “win the 2019 elections” and to “strengthen democracy.”
In a statement signed on Tuesday, insisted that it is fraudulent to cover-up graft and protect accused persons – who occupy enviable positions in this regime – under the guise of ensuring the re-election of Buhari or strengthening democracy.
Frank noted that the recent defection of a former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) into the APC is one out of the multitude of allegedly corrupt politicians who have taken permanent refuge in the Buhari’s administration in order to escape the lawful prosecution for their nefarious deeds.
The Bayelsa-born politician said: “We know that that the allegations of false NYSC exemption certificate against the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has since been swept under the carpet. The grass cutting scandal involving the immediate past SGF, Babacheer Lawal, remains a no go area. The bribery allegations against the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari does not warrant investigation and prosecution by a government claiming to fight corruption!
“Need I talk about the large-scale corruption being perpetuated by officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) who have elected to operate varied exchange rates regime to defraud the country with the active connivance of their collaborators in the presidency.
“The corruption in the NNPC rightly exposed by the Minister of State (Petroleum), Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, does not warrant investigation because the presidency is involved in it.
“Only recently, a N100billion tax evasion scam by Alpha Beta – a tax consulting firm owned by A chieftain of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was exposed. Yet the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) does not deem it fit to commence investigation into the activities of the company simply because an APC chieftain would be put in the eye of the storm!
“The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has severally petitioned the EFCC with a call on the anti-graft body to investigate corruption allegations against the immediate past Governor of the State, Rotimi Amaechi – the Minister of Transportation under the Buhari’s administration -yet apart from acknowledging that it indeed received the said petitions, the EFCC has since turned a blind eye to the allegations,” he lamented.
He said while the government has been on asset-freezing-and-loot-recovery-spree, especially from the members of the opposition political parties or those considered to be anti-Buhari accused of corruption, the real looters in government and politicians with corruption allegations against them within the ranks of the APC are sitting pretty at ease enjoying underserved amnesty.
He said: “We know several top officials of this government and members of their families who have continued to acquire choice assets and those building mansions in their states of origin and abroad since they joined this government in 2015.
“Those perpetuating corruption under this government whose names have never been mentioned are legion compared to the few names mentioned above and very soon we shall expose them with concrete evidence to prove their corrupt activities.”
He called on the EFCC to immediately recommence the investigation and prosecution of all those with corruption baggage in President Buhari’s administration and the APC or lose its credibility both at home and abroad for ever.
He added that the EFCC and other security agencies will henceforth lack the moral right to prosecute members of the opposition political parties or any Nigerian accused of corruption should they fail to immediately prosecute the identified corrupt elements in this administration and the APC.
He also called on the international community to note clearly that Buhari is not fighting corruption but rather persecuting and repressing members of the opposition to remain in power, should he fail to order the prosecution of his cronies and party faithful with clear corruption allegations against them.
“These corrupt personalities hiding inside the government of Buhari and the APC will remain a test case for the EFCC as their investigation, arrest and prosecution or not will determine whether or not the anti-corruption policy of the Federal Government is genuine or a cheap political tool to retain power and remain relevant beyond 2019,” he declared.