Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of deceiving Nigerians with his anti-corruption campaign, which led to his emergence as the President.
Falana stated this during the weekend at the tenth coronation anniversary of the Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Ajibade Alabi, Ekiti South-West Local Government Area of Ekiti State.
The lawyer’s claim was reaction to the recent presidential pardon granted the duo of former Plateau State governor, Joshua Dariye, and his Taraba State counterpart, Jolly Nyame, who were convicted for financial malfeasance during their periods in office.
He stressed that the President has further legitimised corruption and mismanagement of public funds in the country with his decision to grant pardon to the convicted duo.
He also described as self-serving and unacceptable the age and health conditions listed by the Federal Government as reasons for releasing the former governors.
Falana noted that the government’s anti-graft campaign has collapsed like a pack of cards with those accused and established to have stolen public funds running into billions of naira either discharged and acquitted by the court through the deliberate frustration of their cases by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
The National Council of State about two weeks ago granted a pardon to the former governors and 157 other persons serving jail terms in various correctional facilities across the country.
In his words, “As far as the government is concerned, the pardon is just an extension of the policy of abandonment of the anti-corruption crusade. The government used the anti-corruption crusade to deceive Nigerians and as soon as the government got established, little by little, the whole anti-corruption collapsed.
“There are convicts in the nation’s correctional centres who are much older than the two former governors. By the way, the government has been giving different reasons for the pardon; we were told they are being released on compassionate grounds, on health grounds and on age grounds but what is important is that the Buhari administration has abandoned the anti-corruption crusade.
“The pardon extended to the two former governors is an infinitesimal aspect of the abandonment of the anti-corruption crusade. There are those who have stolen billions of naira whose cases have been dropped or withdrawn from the courts by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who simply filed prosequi motions.
“There are others who were discharged and acquitted by courts on technical grounds, not that huge money was not stolen by them but the cases were compromised by the regime, while the suspects have been asked to go and enjoy their loot.”