Civil society group, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has called on President Buhari to establish a precedent in the ongoing anti-corruption fight.
The group made this request owing to the belief that a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, has agreed to testify against the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, and his aide, Mr Abiodun Agbele.
This is following the ongoing investigations by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on the alleged mismanagement of funds meant for the procurement of arms for the Nigerian military, totaling $2.1bn.
CACOL said that it has been ardent with the development of this case and expects that Obanikoro’s purported stance would lead to convictions of those involved in the corruption act.
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr Debo Adeniran, described the allegations as unpardonable and challenged the Buhari administration to establish widely expected precedent in the fight against corruption.
He said, “The embattled governor should surely have his day in court in the light of these revelations. But what has become more glaring by the day is that monies were illegally disbursed and misappropriated.
“These monies ought to have been used to combat the insurgency in Northern Nigeria but were diverted into the coffers of unscrupulous politicians. This selfish act has caused so much loss of lives taken by violence that could have been managed or averted.
“We expect an inimitable precedent to be established with these cases; whereby the long hands of the law will be seen to catch up with those who think themselves to be untouchable.
“It is quite unfortunate that there is still a section of the public who still perceive the anti-corruption fight of the current administration as ‘witch-hunt’ despite the numerous revelations made in the media by suspected corrupt persons.” Adeniran added.
The reports also suggest accused persons have been cooperative with the EFCC by giving them information and also returning stolen funds back to the government. However, CACOL believes the allegations made against Fayose’s aide are sufficient enough to ensure conviction.
Adeniran, continuing his statement, averred that, “The revelations have also debunked statements made by former President Goodluck Jonathan claiming that no ‘arms deal’ money was missing. We are watching and anticipating with high expectations on how these stories would be concluding.
“Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state is under immunity, but this does not prevent his investigation as a serving governor, and at the end of his tenure in 2018 it is expected that he would be called to defend himself against these set of allegations.”
The anti-corruption crusader concluded by positing that “Nigerians have been taken for a ride for far too long. This is why we are urging the current Buhari administration to set a new precedent for things to be done differently by clamping down on all known corrupt persons who have plundered our commonwealth shamelessly and with impunity no matter how powerful, how influential or how crafty such persons may be.
“We are following these reports, we are not ignorant and we would not relent in our efforts to keep demanding that the anti-graft agencies present to the public convictions from the numerous allegations and petitions that have made the news in the past year.”