The Save Nigeria Group (SNG) on Monday said that it has decided to stay action on its threat to organise a nationwide public protest over what it described as the Federal Government reluctance to prosecute those indicted in the subsidy probe report.
The group had last two weeks threatened a mass action if the federal government did not act speedily to prosecute all those indicted in the report.
However, following an assurance from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that it would act on the report and bring all those indicted to justice, the SNG in a press conference in Lagos said it was given the commission the benefit of doubt to act within a time frame.
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has issued a statement acknowledging receipt of the House Report with a promise to prosecute those indicted after it has done its own investigations. The EFCC’s argument seems plausible to the extent that it is not intended to pursue the agenda of an executive arm that is enmeshed in scandals and would prefer the nation forgets and moves on,” text of the press conference reads in part.
The group stopped short of issuing a deadline within which it expects to see action.
The group also says it has filed a suit at a federal high court in Lagos seeking a legal pronouncement on budget overspend and declaration that the federal government violated the law in spending beyond budgetary provisions.
More action less talk
The group called on the government to take action on the report rather than release statements to the public describing the comment credited to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello-Adoke as ‘doublespeak’ and delay tactics.
Mr Bello-Adoke had last week called the report of the House of Representative ad hoc committee that probed the management of the fuel subsidy fund as mere ‘fact finding’ document.
“The AGF’s statement is doublespeak, which is at best a tactic to delay justice and at worst a ploy to deny justice by lulling the nation into forgetfulness,” the statement reads.
The group listed the some examples which it used to illustrate that the AGF’s position is untenable:
“i. The aviation sector probe was still in session when Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode and Prof. Babalola Borisade (former Aviation Ministers) were arrested and charged to court;
ii. It took just an allegation of bribery by the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against the Herman Hembe Committee for the House to disband the committee and set up a new panel. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has gone ahead to obtain a court order to prosecute Hon. Hembe and his deputy Azubuogu Ifeanyi while the new panel is still sitting;
iii. The accounting firms of Akintola Williams & Co and Olusola Adekanola & Co were fired by the Ministry of Finance before the House adopted the report. What were the “further investigations” conducted on the “fact-finding” report of the House before these firms were punished?”
Click here to read the full text of the SNG press conference.
Our previous report
Group to begin another subsidy protest in 24 hours
Despite assurances by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) to prosecute those indicted in the report by the House of Representatives’ ad-hoc subsidy regime, the convener of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG), Pastor Tunde Bakare, says the two week ultimatum to go on demonstration stands.
Speaking with our political correspondent, Deji Bademosi, on the programme ‘Politics today’, Pastor Bakare says in less than 24 hours, the group will carry out its threat.
He calls the moves taken so far by the government as “sandy steps” and we demand “concrete steps”.
The Attonery-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, had recently stated that the federal government is yet to carry any action on the report by the House of Representatives committee on fuel subsidy management, saying the report by the ad-hoc committee is a fact-finding mission and that the reports will be forwarded to the necessary agencies for investigation and necessary actions.
Mr Bakare recalled that during a probe into the aviation sector, it took the government no time before a suit was filed against the former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode. “They didn’t consider the probe a fact finding mission” he said.
He also added that it took just a mere allegation by the Director-General of the Security and Excahnge Commission (SEC) against the chairman House of Representative committee on the capital market, Rep. Hernan Hermbe, before the committee was disbanded and the EFCC is already investigating Mr Hermbe.