The Opposition has Called For Probe Of Security Vote Since 1984 Insisting It Is Ready To Approach. A ‘Truth Commission’ On The Matter With Facts
The Anti- corruption posture of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government, headed by President Muhammadu Buhari enjoys the support of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) provided it is holistic.
Speaking through its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, the party demanded the trial and prosecution of all those involved in corrupt acts including those “who may have returned ‘loots’ to the government.”
The party added that whilst it supports this move to rid the nation of the cancerous infliction of corruption, it is totally against any measure of lopsided public trial of accused persons.
“We are completely against any one-sided public trial and mob conviction of accused persons without following the age-long and worldwide legal process wherein all accused persons are presumed innocent until the contrary is lawfully proved. We do not believe that mere investigation confers a guilt verdict on those concerned and the government should stop the brutal mob and public conviction of individuals and the transfer of the burden of proof of people being investigated.”
The party spokesman said that the PDP restate for emphasis that a media and public war against corruption is good, but it should not be limited to only those opposed to the President and the ruling party.
The PDP expressed it’s reservation. stating that “until top officials of the former government open up on the exact source of the funding, it remains premature to be accusing our party members of corrupt practices.”
The party demanded the government to extend its investigation to include security votes of pre-Goodluk Ebele Jonathan administration to ascertain its Spendings especially the era in which General Ibrahi Babangida held sway as Military Head of state.
The PDP said : “Nevertheless, if indeed the government’s investigation includes the expenditure of President Jonathan security votes from 2011, then it should be extended to a public inquisition on the following: “The security votes of all past Presidents and Heads of state from 1984.
“Petroleum Trust Fund from 1995 to 1999; expenditure of our military purchases and expenditure during the Bakassi wars, the fight against militancy in the Niger Delta, military interventions in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda among others.
In what may appear to be a bold question mark of the integrity of funds for the President Muhammadu Buhari campaign funds the PDP called for further inquisition into the funding sources of the All Progressives Congress Presidential campaign fund as well as that of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 elections.
“The source of funding of the PDP and APC’s 2015 Presidential campaigns; the contributions from APC controlled state governors for their Presidential campaign and the beneficiaries thereof. “The allegation that people were made ministers just to cover up the slush fund that they provided to finance the APC presidential campaign.
“In the light of the way and manner of this government’s selective prosecution of the war against corruption, the PDP challenges the government to set up a National Truth Commission wherein politicians and other Nigerians publicly discuss the true meaning of corrupt practice in our land. This commission would also provide a platform for a proper public inquisition into the mind-boggling wealth of some Nigerians in public office.
Nigerians are quite eager to learn the business and investment tricks of past and present public officers in the APC fold, especially former governors, former ministers as well as their national leader, who suddenly acquired multi-billions investments and are now reputed to be the richest politicians in the country.
Nevertheless, if indeed President Muhammadu Buhari in anyway whatsoever desires to probe his opponent in the Presidential election, he should come out straight instead of going round in circles.
If indeed the government is interested in ending sleazes associated with campaign funds, the National Truth Commission will present an avenue for Nigerians to openly debate the issues therein with facts and figures.
“If truly this government has provided hundreds of millions of naira to columnists, media analysts and commentators as well as social media writers and bloggers to castigate, denigrate and embarrass the PDP and its leaders, then the PDP, being a party that is out of power and especially against the present hostility of the security agencies, will publicly approach the Truth Commission with revelations backed with evidence, facts and figures” Metuh stressed.
– Patrick Osadebamwen, Abuja