Ngilari’s Acquittal: Again, PDP Faults APC’s Anti-graft War

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed concern over the rate at which the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government have been losing cases of corruption it brought against past government officials.

However, PDP said this development has once again, affirmed its earlier position that the anti-corruption war of the current administration of the APC “is a vendetta targeted at former PDP leaders and members and other perceived enemies of the government.”

In a statement issued by the PDP spokesman, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the party said, “the development has clearly shown that the APC had no concrete evidence to prove their corruption allegation but were merely on vendetta mission.”

PDP made reference to former Governor of Adamawa State, Hon. James Bala Ngilari who was discharged and acquitted by the Appeal Court in Yola last Wednesday, saying the party’s position has been vindicated.

According to the party, Ngilari was one among many innocent PDP members and other Nigerians that were wrongly accused of corruption by the APC government that have been vindicated in recent times. Adeyeye also called on the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to release the report of Presidential Investigative Committee that was set up in April.

The committee, headed by Osinbajo, was set up to investigate the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. David Lawal; and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ayo Oke.

The statement reads: “These innocent men and women have been harassed, intimidated and subjected to harrowing legal prosecution simply to score cheap political points and cow the opposition into silence.

“Nigerians will recall the case of the former Minister for Niger Delta Affairs and the PDP Agent in the 2015 Presidential Election, Elder Godsday Orubebe, who was wrongly accused of fraud to the tune of N1.97 billion. He was later discharged and acquitted by Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of the FCT High Court on April 4, 2017.

“Nigerians may also recall the Gestapo and commando-style arrest and detention of some Justices of the Supreme Court by the DSS on account of various allegations of bribery and corruption. Some of these judges till date have not been charged to court for the alleged offences while Justice Ademola, his wife and Barrister Joe Agi, SAN were all discharged and acquitted by another FCT High Court on April 5, 2017.”

PDP said Nigerians and members of the international community are still waiting for the report of the Presidential Committee headed by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo investigating the PINE allegation involving the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. David Babachir Lawal and the cash recovered at Osborne Road, Ikoyi Lagos.

“The committee was set up on April 19, 2017 to submit its report within 14 days; maybe it will be submitted tomorrow. It is clear that the APC-led administration is hell-bent on hounding and grounding opposition by intimidating perceived enemies to cover up for its failures and maladministration. Indeed, the ‘APC Anti-Corruption War’ is a disaster and the government itself is a complete failure: clueless, visionless and directionless.

“We congratulate the former Governor of Adamawa State, Hon. Bala Ngilari for his victory at the Appeal Court. We urge him and all our teeming members and supporters nationwide to remain steadfast with the PDP as we work to salvage the country from the clutches of the APC marauders”, the statement added.

The Court of Appeal in Yola, last Wednesday, discharged and acquitted Ngilari of corruption charges levelled against him.
Ngilari was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for misconduct in the award of contract for the purchase of 25 Toyota Hilux truck and misappropriation of over N160 million.