By Gboyega Akinsanmi
Former President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday challenged the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo not to keep silent about the proven and established cases of corruption that occurred under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Jonathan, therefore, noted that if the Buhari administration were fighting corruption, it would not have registered Nigeriaâ€™s worst ever performance in the Corruption Perception Index where Nigeria moved backward from 136 in 2014 to 148 in 2017.
This was contained in a statement the GEJ Media Office issued yesterday in reaction to the vice presidentâ€™s comment that the Buhari administration would not stop talking about the massive corruption in the Jonathan government.
Osinbajo had said: â€œOur people to simply forget the blatant violation of public trust and the pillaging of the nationâ€™s commonwealth witnessed in the past, are saying wittingly or otherwise that we should forget where the shoe actually pinched and pretend as if the social raping of the nation never occurred.â€
He had asked: â€œHow can we do that? We have a situation where a former first lady came out openly to claim over $171 million found in her accounts and you think Nigerians will simply overlook that. You have a situation where hundreds of billions have been recovered including the discovery of $43 million cash in an apartment in Ikoyi, and you think Nigerians will simply forget that?â€
However, in a statement by his media office yesterday, Jonathan faulted Osinbajoâ€™s statement, noting that there â€œis no former First Lady from the Jonathan administration that has claimed $171 million in a bank account. Upon a promise of a suit for libel, I challenge Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to name that person.Â
He specifically said: â€œIf, as Osinbajo statement claimed, the Buhari administration will not relent in the prosecution of the cases in court, how come his statement only mentioned suspected cases of corruption under the previous governments?â€
Â He wondered why Osinbajo â€œwas silent about proven and established cases of corruption right under the nose of the current administration like the multimillion naira â€˜grass cutterâ€™ scam involving the immediate past Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, a man who has not been charged.â€
He also sought to know why the vice president â€œdid not talk about the Maina scandal. Abdurasheed Maina was allegedly the biggest thief ever in Nigeriaâ€™s civil service. The PDP government dismissed him. But the Buhari administration recalled; reinstated into the civil service and given double promotion.
â€œWhat about the $25 billion contracts that were awarded without due process at the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation as detailed in the leaked memo from the minister of state for petroleum resources, and for which the vice president himself was almost roped in and for which he had to issue a quick denial?Â
â€œWhat about the various padded budgets from the Buhari era that are a disgrace to decent people the world over? What about the fact that this government, after condemning the Jonathan administration for paying fuel subsidy, has turned around to secretly pay the same fuel subsidy that it claimed was a scam?â€Â
The former president equally noted that vice president mentioned the Ikoyi Apartment $44 million. A panel was instituted to probe those funds. I challenge the vice president to release the findings of that panelâ€™s report to the public.â€Â
Â He therefore, lamented that the Buhari administration had taken Nigeria backward in the global corruption perception index, noting that the country had recorded its best ever performance in 2014 when it moved from 142 in 2013 to 136 in 2014.
He said only in an upside-down world â€œdoes a government who took Nigeria backward on the corruption scale accuse an administration that took Nigeria forward.
â€œOnly in a delusional regime does a president who scores 148 on the Transparency International CPI, go to a Ghana that scored 81 to offer to teach them how to fight corruption. The Buhari administration should instead have asked to take anti-corruption lessons from the Jonathan government and the Ghanaian President.â€