The most vocal opposition party in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has accused Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari of condoning and promoting corruption by nominating individuals with alleged corruption scandals to be part of his cabinet.
It, therefore, urged Nigeria’s senate to subject Buhari’s nominees to further scrutiny in the hands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Nigerian senate is expected to confirm the appointment of ministerial nominees who passed its screening procedures.
The nominees screened on Monday were Gbemisola Saraki (Kwara); Goddy Jedy-Agba (Cross River); Sulaiman Adamu (Jigawa); Maryam Katagun (Bauchi); Clement Agba (Edo); Geoffrey Onyeama (Enugu); Muhammad Mahmoud (Kaduna); Rauf Aregbesola (Osun) and Babatunde Fashola (Lagos).
The remaining nominees to be screened are Sabo Nanono (Kano), Lai Mohammed (Kwara) and Saleh Mamman (Taraba).
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, will preside over the plenary after the screening of the remaining three nominees and seek confirmation for each of the appointees, one after the other through voice votes today (Tuesday).
During the screening some of the ministerial nominees on Monday, the PDP urged the Senate to give credibility to its ministerial screening by sending the nominees’ names to the EFCC for further investigation and screening.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement stated that the screening must have enabled the Senate to further confirm that many of the nominees presented to it by President Muhammadu Buhari included alleged corrupt persons.
These individuals, Ologbondiyan claimed, were former governors and ministers who had allegedly wrecked their states and ministries.
He continued that some of them had serious allegations of corruption, abuse of office and stealing of public funds hanging on their necks.
Hence, the nomination of persons allegedly with corruption badges to serve in the federal cabinet indicated that, “Buhari does not only condone graft but also explicitly promotes corruption”.
Ologbodiyan also stated that this was particularly sad as Buhari had earlier declared that he would only, “nominate persons he knows personally”.
Ologbondiyan said: “It, therefore, speaks volumes that the persons Mr President “personally” knows and has nominated as ministers include such individuals that have been publicly indicted and known to be answering questions as accomplices in ongoing corruption cases in various courts.
“The PDP calls on the Senate to note that some of the nominees have failed to defend their corruption allegations. This includes a particular former minister from the North-Central, who had admitted to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission of complicity in the N2.5 billion National Broadcasting Commission fraud case, still pending in court.
“This is in addition to certain nominees, who as state governors, swindled their states, fleeced workers and committed several financial crimes for which they should rather be standing trial, instead of being rewarded with official protection as ministers.
“Our party notes that the gathering of corrupt persons as cabinet ministers is a clear pointer to a scheme by the cabal in the Presidency to further entrench corruption in our nation.”
SaharaReporters, New York