AYODELE Fayose, Ekiti State governor and chairman, Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) Governors’ Forum, has written Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, demanding the immediate release of the report of the investigative panel on corruption allegations against David Babachir Lawal, suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), and Ayo Oke, Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
Osinbajo headed the presidential committee that investigated corruption allegations against Lawal and Oke. Lawal was accused of due process violations in the award of contracts to companies handling the resettlement programmes in internally displaced persons (IDPs) camps in the North East. Oke was accused of complicity in the discovery of large amounts in foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The committee raised in April was given two weeks to submit its report.
In a letter dated July 11, 2017 and received at the acting president’s office on July 13, 2017, the governor also demanded that the acting president must “act expeditiously on the report”, threatening to approach the law court to compel the acting president to release and act on the report if he failed to do so.
Lere Olayinka, special assistant to the governor on public communications and new media, said in a statement issued on Sunday that Governor Fayose told the acting president “never to habour the view that the matter can be swept under the carpet,” saying the government’s war against corruption lacked credibility and had thus floundered because of the government’s perceived penchant for sweeping under the carpet allegations of corruption against top functionaries of the Federal Government and members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“I dare to say that this is one of the reasons the so-called war against corruption has not attracted public support. It lacks credibility and has thus floundered. It is also the reason your administration has lost case after case in the court of law, even though the administration officials have tried to cover government’s Achilles heel as well as their own howling incompetence under the pretence of corruption fighting back,” the governor said.
Fayose said months after the committee finished its assignment it appears the matter has been swept under the carpet or treated as a “family affair” of the governing APC.
“It will be most unfortunate indeed if this, truly, is the case. For one, the appropriate response to the very serious issue of corruption against the suspended SGF and the NIA DG should not have been the setting up of a committee to investigate; rather, both men should have been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation and arraignment in a court of competent jurisdiction. Your Excellency will agree with me that this has always been this government’s recourse when alleged corruption cases involve members of the opposition PDP, estranged members of the ruling party. In fact, PDP members and non-members of the ruling APC alleged to be corrupt, such as judges, are first harassed, haunted, hounded, arrested and locked up, tried and convicted in the media and visited with public lynching while the Department of State Service (DSS) and the EFCC take their time to search for or conjure evidence against them.
“The preferential treatment given to the two top-notch members of your government is bad enough – and they are the only members of the ruling party that have got this slap-on-the-wrist treatment. So reckless and audacious had your government become in this regard that a serving senator who is a member of your party said on the floor of the Senate that your government uses insecticides when dealing with alleged cases of corruption involving members of the opposition but applies deodorant when members of the ruling party are involved. I dare to say that this is one of the reasons the so-called war against corruption has not attracted public support”, the governor said.
“Were President Buhari to be around, this issue would not have been any of your bother. All that would have been required of you would be to turn in your report within the stipulated time and the ball would then have been squarely in the president’s court. Fortunately and unfortunately, President Buhari has been away on medical tourism for most part of this year and as the acting president, the buck now stops on your desk. Your Excellency, Nigerians demand two actions from you:
“First is that you release the report of the corruption investigation, which you presided over. Second, is that you act expeditiously on the report. May I advise, Your Excellency, that you should never habour the view that this matter can be swept under the carpet for two reasons.
“One is that Nigerians are not unmindful of the outcome of your investigation even if it has not been officially released. Two is that should you fail to release the report and act on it, I shall approach the law court to compel you to do so”, he said.