The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders CACOL, on Thursday, called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to bring to book all those accused of corruptly enriching themselves with public funds in Nigeria.
The anti-corruption group called on the EFCC to “be diligent and get focused on discharging their duties concerning the alleged corruption cases against the former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, the Ekiti State Governor, Gov. Ayodele Fayose, the former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, a General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi and Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Atewa (rtd)”.
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, said he was reacting to “the confusion being consciously created by these suspected corruption criminals over the allegations against them”.
All the suspects have pleaded not guilty and claimed they were being witch-hunted by President Muhammadu Buhari because they worked for former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr. Adeniran said “they all need to explain and subject themselves to judicial proceedings to establish their innocence rather than ‘media defence”.
Mr. Adeniran said: “Obanikoro has been alleged by the EFCC to have received the sum of N4.7bn from the Office of the National Security Adviser, through the head, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) in June, 2014. And he has admitted that he gave N2.3bn to the present Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose. Any right thinking Nigerian would ask the simplest of the questions – ‘why?’, and this is because the whole scenario smacks of corruption.
“This entire media defense makes no sense at all considering the background that if one is innocent in relation to suspected corruption cases, there will be no reason to fear the EFCC or the justice system”.
He added: “EFCC must not get intimidated by cheap blackmail, the agency must work on all the somewhat difficult and recalcitrant suspects like Femi Fani Kayode and others; diligence in investigations and prosecutions are very vital in this regard and adherence with the rule of law. His tenure as the Minister of Aviation, must be thoroughly investigated and if found guilty of any sharp practice while in office, he must be prosecuted, regardless of the conscious attempt to distract the public from the crux of the allegations against him.”
“Gen. Patrick Akpobolokemi and Maj.Gen. Emmanuel Atewa (rtd) who were alleged to have siphoned N1.8bn from the coffers of NIMASA within two weeks in September 2014, and other similar cases in court must be pursed to logical and judicial conclusions. The era of using illogical reasons, cheap blackmail and propaganda to solicit public sympathy over heinous crimes like corrupt and sharp practices in order to escape justice must be put behind us a country and people.”
“We call on the EFCC not to relent in efforts to fight corruption in our country, and to ensure that diligence, thoroughness and lawfulness are always deployed in its constitutional duties as an anti-graft agency.” Adeniran concluded