Nigeria’s Presidency has refuted claims of selective prosecution of alleged corrupt public officials, following allegations credited to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Presidency maintained that Buhari does not interfere with the work of anti-corruption agencies.
“Whosoever is involved in corruption should face the law. Corruption has no political party, religion nor ethnic group,” a statement by a spokesman to the President, Mr Garba Shehu, read.
‘Plead Your Innocence’
The Presidency described allegations of selective fight against corruption as wild, and that such claims should not have come from respected, noble and distinguished members of the hallowed Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Mr Shehu stated that “the claim is false and belongs to the past, and not the present. Public officials and other leaders accused of corruption by relevant agencies should plead their innocence, not plead malice”.
The Presidency also condemned the allegations of alleged harassment by the officials of the Department of State Security (DSS), stressing that “any individual or group of individuals who consider their legitimate political and civil rights infringed upon by the DSS or the Independent National Electoral Commission or anyone or institution at all is advised to seek protection and redress under the constitution and laws of Nigeria.
Mr Shehu also assured that impunity would not be condoned under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch, and that the Rule of Law will govern every facet of governance.
Some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have asked President Goodluck Jonathan to assent to the amended sections of the 1999 constitution before the end of his administration.
The appeal was made at a forum between civil society groups, journalists and legal experts, aimed at appealing to President Goodluck Jonathan to assent to the amended sections of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
According to the groups, the Presidential assent to the amended constitution, especially those sections that deal with election and post election matters are necessary, in view of the forthcoming polls.
The organiser, Mr Clement Nwankwo of the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, believes that it is important for the President to give his assent ahead of the elections.
Other Conveners at the meeting agreed that Presidential assent to the sections, especially those dealing with election matters such section 285, would provide a better framework for the tribunals and INEC to work.
Professor Oyewo, however, proposed that the lawmakers resolution on the amended sections should be allowed to be part of the laws, whether or not the sections have presidential assent after a period of time.
The National Assembly has amended some sections of the 1999 constitution including sections 65, 134,150, and 285, that deal with Electoral and Judicial Reforms.
Although both the Senate and House of Representatives have harmonised the amended sections, they are yet to be approved by the President.
The Lagos State Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have paraded 23 suspects, including 5 Togolese, allegedly involved in illegal bunkering of petroleum products, between January and February 2015.
The suspects were arrested by the Nigerian Navy at various points on the high sea and within Lagos waters, before they were handed over to the NSCDC.
A total of 378 drums, each of 250 litres, containing petroleum products were recovered during the operations.
Also paraded were 14 suspects involved in vandalism of electrical installations, illegal connections and by-passing of prepaid metres in Isolo, Abule Egba and Oworonsoki areas, belonging to the Ikeja Electric Distribution Company.
The NSCDC is a paramilitary agency of the Government of Nigeria that is commissioned to provide measures against threat and any form of attack or disaster against the nation and its citizenry.
The NSCDC was first introduced in May 1967 during the Nigerian Civil War within the then Federal Capital Territory for the purpose of sensitization and protection of the civil populace.
Parts of its statutory empowerment includes legal proceedings against any person or persons suspected to have committed an offence, maintain an armed squad in order to bear fire arms among others to strengthen the corps in the discharge of its statutory duties.