Anti-Corruption Coalition Cautions Presidency On Granting Amnesty To Corrupt Ex-Governors
The Coalition of Civil Society for the Eradication of COVID- 19 (COCSEC) and Global Centre for Conscious Living against Corruption (GLOCCOLAC) has called on the Presidency not to grant Presidential Pardon to ex-governors.
While addressing the media on Tuesday, 28th April, 2020 in Abuja, Dr. Nwambu Gabriel and Mallam Sadiq Malik who spoke for the coalition said that if the pardon is granted to the ex-governors, the implication is that people would be encourage to steal and loot public funds since the consequences is not punitive enough to act as a deterrent to intending perpetrators of such crime especially when perpetrators believe that pardon or amnesty is always available at their disposal. This would certainly make a mockery of the Federal Government’s genuine intentions to combat crime. Nigerians should therefore watch out for possible abuses by these ex- Governors.
On the COVID-19, security and human right abuses, the coalition also called on the Inspector General of Police as a matter of urgency to commence a covert operation to fish out perpetrators and erring officers and men for proper sanction.
Excerpt is the full text of the statement:
CORRUPTION AMIDST COVID- 19 PANDEMIC
Good morning members of the fourth realm and welcome to this briefing.
There is no doubt that the world dreaded Covid- 19 otherwise referred to as Corona Virus which has unleashed devastating effect on most advanced economies of the world is here in Nigeria. But sadly, the entire pandemic is taking another dimension in Nigeria with impending cases of corruption recorded.
May we refer to the publication of 10th April, 2020 credited to Sahara Reporters captioned “Nigerian Government Ignores El- Zakzaky, To Pardon Orji Kalu, Other Ex- Governors Jailed For Stealing Public Funds”. The publication further stated that the pardon was specifically meant to benefit persons close to the corridors of power currently in jail for various offences.
Recall that in 2015 when President Mohammadu Buhari assumed office as Nigerian’s President, he highlighted three cardinal plans as the focus of his administration: Security, Anti- Corruption fight and the resuscitation of the nation’s economy. President Buhari focused on the war against Corruption, saying that corruption will kill Nigeria if Nigeria does not kill corruption.
Now, Ex Governor jolly Nyame of Taraba was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for defrauding his state to the tune of N1.64 billion. Ex Governor Joshua Dariye of Plateau was jailed for stealing N1.62 billion ecological funds belonging to the state. James Bala Ngilari, a former Governor of Adamawa was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment for defrauding 167 million. But the mother of all frauds was perpetrated by the ex Governor of Abia state who stole N7.65 Billion of tax payers money from Abia state, yet his name tops the list amongst persons likely to be granted amnesty. Orji Uzor is noted for his serial lies. Recall that in 2019, this former Governor claimed to be admitted in a German hospital where he was undergoing a knee surgery, just to evade appearing in court, only for him to appear a few days later jumping up and down in a political rally in Abia state. This man is known to leverage on any slightest lacuna to evade justice.
It is pertinent to state here that most of these states where the ex Governors peculated the state’s treasury are still on their knees up till date and yet to recover from the comatose unleashed by these ex Governors whose unquenchable taste for stealing public funds has robbed the unemployed youths of their future and the generations yet unborn of basic social amenities of life.
Again, if this publication by Sahara Reporter is anything to go by, then, the loss of public confidence on the present administration cannot be ruled out. This current Presidential Pardon, though born with genuine government intention might be abused by these fraud convicts. Again, the implication of this is that people would be encourage to steal and loot public funds since the consequences is not punitive enough to act as a deterrent to intending perpetrators of such crime especially when perpetrators believe that pardon or amnesty is always available at their disposal. This would certainly make a mockery of the Federal Government’s genuine intentions to combat crime. Nigerians should therefore watch out for possible abuses by these ex- Governors.
COVID-19, SECURITY AND HUMAN RIGHT ABUSES
The result of several road blocks within and entry points states has resulted in several reported cases of Gross Human Right Violations, extortion, brutality which sometimes result in death.
There are reports that Nigeria has recorded more deaths as a result of police extra judicial killings more than the Covid-19 has actually killed. There must be responsibility for extortion. There must be responsibility for extra judicial killings. There must be responsibility for Violations of Human Right in Nigeria.
In the FCT border connecting Nasarawa state and the FCT, Kubwa road, Gwarimpa- Wuse 2, etc, the police collects money from the Keke Napep riders, individuals, motorists, etc. There are reports of human right abuses in Osun, Rivers, Delta, Abia and the FCT respectively. Some of these policemen compromise the enforcement and thereby increase the chances of more infections thereby sabotaging genuine government intentions. The IGP should as a matter of urgency commence a covert operation to fish out perpetrators and erring officers and men for proper sanction.
Finally, by this medium we wish to advice all Nigerian citizens and persons resident in Nigeria that the Covid-19 Pandemic is real and it is here in Nigeria.
Covid-19 is a Global Challenge.
Covid-19 is a Humanitarian Challenge.
Covid-19 is an Economic Challenge.
Covid-19 is a Security Challenge.
To fight this scourge, we require the cooperation of all Nigerians as Government cannot fight this pandemic alone.
Government should also brace up to be responsive, responsible and accountable to the yearnings and aspirations of every Nigerian citizen.
Dr. Nwambu Gabriel Mallam Sadiq Malik
For the coalition.