Posted by News Express | 4 June 2015 | 3,400 times
The Federal Government has been cautioned to stop dishing out contradictory signals on the commitment of the new government to clean the Augean stable and end the widespread corrupt practices and economic crimes that have ravaged Nigeria' political public space in the last 16 Years.
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), a pro-democracy civil society group, made the observation against the backdrop of conflicting media reports on whether the Nigerian Government has withdrawn the pending anti graft matter against the erstwhile Governor of Bayelsa State and the Chieftain of the new national ruling party Mr. Timipre Silva.
The Federal Director of Prosecution at the Federal Ministry of Justice and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation had few days back asked Justice Evoh Chukwu of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to terminate further hearing on the six-count criminal charge that was preferred against Sylva.
HURIWA quoted media reports as disclosing that the withdrawal directive came on a day the court had fixed for the anti-graft agency to call witnesses and tender exhibits against the ex-governor who was accused of masterminding the illegal diversion of funds from the Bayelsa State treasury, while he was in power.
He was specifically accused of siphoning over N6.5 billion from the Bayelsa State treasury.
HURIWA in a media statement endorsed jointly by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, affirmed that the new Federal Government must avoid spreading confusing insinuations and impressions that it is business -as -usual as far as waging the anti graft war is concerned.
Besides, HURIWA said it would amount to a constitutional breach for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Government to violate the sanctity of the anti corruption war even when the Nigerian Constitution in Section 15 (5) unambiguously charges the Nigerian State to abolish all corrupt practices. The Rights group also warned the President not to contemplate withdrawal of ongoing anti graft court cases involving members of his political class because doing that would amount to a direct affront to his Presidential and constitutional oath of office as enshrined in seventh schedule of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended ).
The group also tasked the current government to settle down quickly to the serious business of governance by comprehensively reorganising the leaderships of the anti graft agencies to pick only credible, independent -minded, incorruptible, tested and trusted patriots to spearhead the total war against corruption and all manifestations of economic crimes in Nigeria.
“The war against corruption demands clearly stated strategy and there must be no prevarication and/or mixed and confusing signals from the Presidency because picking and choosing who to prosecute for corruption based on party affiliation amounts to the perpetuation of a regime of impunity which has virtually destroyed our body politic,” the group stated.
•Photo shows Sylva.
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