Posted by News Express | 12 April 2020 | 719 times
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has commended a ranking Senator in the United States Congress, Senator Chuck Grassley, for objecting to the unconditional rapid return of some of the public funds stolen by former military leader, General Sani Abacha, to the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
HURIWA stated in a media release at the weekend that the objective and sound judgment made by the Congressman on the deployment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by President Buhari for political vendettas and victimisation of political rivals “are very factual and the allegation of political witch-hunt by the anti-graft agency as made correctly by the US Senator is just a re-emphasis drawing from the consistent reports of same indictment of the anti-graft commission as a political tool as repeatedly made by the US States Department in its annual country reports on human rights on Nigeria since the last three years.”
It stated: “We are a little bit disappointed that the hierarchy of the EFCC through its just publicized reaction to the American Senator’s indictment of its one-sided anti-corruption drive has shown that since the last three or two years that the US consistently criticized its operational modalities, it never bothered to address those concerns and has only just woken up from institutional loss of memory and slumber to disagree with the well thought-out position of the distinguished Senator Grassley.
“Only two months ago, in a well detailed and properly articulated human rights report on Nigeria, the US States Department lambasted the Ibrahim Magu-led EFCC on the consistent pattern of selective prosecution of politically exposed persons of rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“If we may ask, how many core Northern Moslem former governors have been successfully prosecuted by the EFCC and punished by the competent court of law? How come that the few out of the over 21 indicted former governors that eventually got convicted are all Christians? What of the former Bauchi State Governor, Alhaji Ahmadu Adamu Muazu, who also became National Chairman of PDP and reportedly and allegedly compromised his party's chances in the 2015 Presidential election leading to the declaration of his kinsman Muhammadu Buhari of the then opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner against the PDP's incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, a Southern minority Christian President of Nigeria? How come that the allegations of corruption against him (Adamu Muazu) were never taken forward and he eventually crossed over to the current ruling party of APC?
“How come the former Governor of Borno state, Ali Modu Sherriff, who was even reportedly indicted and accused by the EFCC of buying personal exotic jets worth millions of dollars from allegedly stolen Borno State’s fund and his case never went beyond the media showmanship because he is reportedly an in-law of President Buhari? What of the former Gombe State Governor, Senator Mohammed Danjuma Goje, accused of N5 billion heist but was pardoned when he allegedly agreed to a deal to step down for Ahmed Lawan who is Buhari’s candidate for Senate President?
“How come the immediate past governor of Borno State, Senator Kashim Ibrahim Shettima, is reportedly so rich that he has allegedly amassed over $900 million as reported by Wikipedia but he is not a person of interest to EFCC even to at least tell us how he came into such stupendous wealth?
“So the letter by this United States Senator couldn’t have been written at a better time. He is an angel of honesty who has nothing to gain by speaking out the blunt truth about the staggering situation of corruption now in Nigeria by a bunch of officials that have destroyed our national economy and made Nigeria a beggar for foreign loans all around the world.”
In a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, said that for the mere fact that both the governments of the United States of America and the United Kingdom have objected to a surreptitious plot by President Buhari to funnel $100 million to the Kebbi State governor, Alhaji Bagudu Atiku, is a strong indication that the current Nigerian government is not in any way committed to the fight against corruption when the same governor is accused of aiding and abetting the late maximum military ruler, General Abacha, to pillage the resources of Nigeria and funnel these humonguous wealth to private accounts all over the world.
It rights group asked: “Can the US and UK be wrong on this one thing and the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration is right? There is no smokes without fire moreso when the last loot recovered from Abacha have been frittered away to ghost beneficiaries going by emerging facts that the Presidency cannot provide verifiable and concrete records of the beneficiaries so how can the US be certain that the rogues embedded in the current Federal Government wouldn't re-loot the retrieved loot stolen by Abacha? So, HURIWA absolutely supports the call for a tight conditional return of the loot by the United States of America and the United Kingdom as the case may be.
“HURIWA is aware that Nigeria has been working with governments worldwide in recent years to help repatriate some of the funds stolen by Abacha and boost its finances. So we support the vigilance of both the US, UK and the Congressional officials of the United States Senate that are alert to be sure that the looted money diverted by Abacha to foreign jurisdictions if repatriated would not be stolen again going by the preponderance and high number of thieving officials that are still active in the current administration of President Buhari and coupled with the disturbing phenomenon that the country’s anti-corruption bodies have all been hijacked by All Progressives Congress and politicized.”
HURIWA recalled that the US Senator Grassley earlier this month wrote to the head of the US Justice Department’s anti-money laundering unit asking for proof that funds returned to Nigeria would go toward infrastructure projects, as its government has stated.
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