Ovie Okpare, Warri
Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, has decried the way the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Commission are going about the anti-corruption fight.
Clark, who expressed worry that the anti-corruption fight would be lost with the way the EFCC and the ICPC were prosecuting the campaign against corruption, said that the fight was becoming selective.
The leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum maintained that although President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption was genuine, the fight would only succeed if it was not selective.
Clark stated this during a news conference on Tuesday at his Kiagbodo country house in Burutu Local Government Area where he read an open letter addressed to the Attorney General of the Federal and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN).
The Ijaw leader particularly condemned and described as unimaginable the manner at which the anti-graft agencies abandoned corruption cases in court for several years despite enough glaring evidence to nail the accused persons in court.
Making references to the recent re-arraignment of a former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu; and a former Governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Rasheed Ladoja, by the EFCC — after their cases were abandoned for over nine years, Clark said such an action smacked of selectivity.
Clark said, “While Nigerians appreciate this, it must be observed that the activities of some of the anti-graft agencies may seriously affect Mr. President’s fight against corruption. All patriotic Nigerians are very supportive of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade.
“He (Buhari) has done well in his fight against corruption, and we all commend him for that. But for this fight to succeed, there should not be sacred cows. Therefore, those heading the anti-graft agencies must be seen to be above board in the discharge of their duties.
“A situation whereby cases on corruption have been abandoned in the courts for years is unimaginable. Now that they want to reopen them, only a very few of them seem to be selected for re-arraignment. This negates the principle of impartiality. The war against corruption should be total.”
Clark demanded that other abandoned cases involving ex-governors such as Gbenga Daniel (Ogun State), Ikedi Ohakim (Imo State), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa State), Senator Danjuma Goje (Gombe State), Sule Lamido, (Jigawa State) and his two sons be reopened without further delay.
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