By Segun James
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has challenged the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to immediately arrest and prosecute former Governor of Lagos State and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, following the disclosure by the CCB lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs, that the former governor was erroneously discharged by the CCT in the trial of holding 10 foreign accounts contrary to Section 7 of the CCB and Tribunal Act, Cap 15 LFN, 2004 as amended.
The PDP in a statement by the Lagos State Publicity Secretary, Mr. Taofik Gani, charged that the “learned SAN made the disclosure in his opposition to the application by Senate President, Bukola Saraki, that he be discharged.
“We demand the immediate invitation, arrest and prosecution of Tinubu for violating the laws of the land and breaching public trust by operating several foreign accounts during his tenure as Lagos State governor between 1999 and 2007.
“During these period, the state did not witness meaningful developments commensurate to its internally generated revenues and federal government allocations. We strongly believe that those foreign accounts were allegedly used to steal Lagos funds.
“It still amazes us how a Tinubu, well known before he became the state governor, is now the undoubtedly wealthiest and ‘influential’ personality out of politics in the country. The code of conduct tribunal erroneously discharged him but that does not remove the fact that the offence was committed.
“Now that the facts of Tinubu’s erroneous discharge are in the public glare and in the spirit of the hyped anti-corruption crusade, President Mugammadu Buhari ought to take a stance and speak out on the proprietary of Tinubu walking free while Saraki, Sambo Dasuki, Nnamdi Kanu, are being prosecuted with vigour.
“Alas! Rather, the president and other APC leaders chose to adopt and celebrate a betrayer of public service. The president particularly recently directed the grounding of the capital city to celebrate Tinubu’s birthday. An unequivocal declaration of loyalty to Tinubu who no doubt bankrolled the President’s election. No doubt that president Buhari is only mouthing anti corruption and cannot summon the gut to prosecute APC leaders.”
The PDP said lawyer to Saraki, Kanu Agabi (SAN), applied for Saraki’s discharge on the basis that he was also not invited before he was charged by the CCB, which is similar to Tinubu’s fact of case. They wondered why Tinubu was discharged whereas Saraki continues to be prosecuted even when the surrounding facts are similar.
“The erroneous discharge of Tinubu must be appealed against. Alternatively, Tinubu should be invited, interrogated and prosecuted. He was discharged and not acquitted and there is no time limitation for criminal trial. The PDP lamented that if Jacobs the lawyer of the bureau can “described Tinubu’s discharge as wrong and that the tribunal was misled into discharging the former governor,” the former governor should be arrested and prosecuted immediately.”
This is just as the party has also accused President Muhammadu Buhari of manifesting selective fight and prosecution in his anti corruption crusade.
It enjoined the president to prove his anti-corruption stance by ensuring the prosecution of the APC national leader.