- Seeks probe of N500m bribery allegation over MTN fine
- Dariye, Nyameâ€™s convictions handwork of Yarâ€™adua, Jonathan, says Omokri
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuj
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to prove the sincerity of his fight against corruption by directing the investigation and arraignment of former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, over allegations of corruption.
This is coming as the former Special Adviser to Jonathan on New Media, Mr. Reno Omokri stated that the former Governor of Plateau State, Mr. Joshua Dariye and former Governor Jolly Nyame of Taraba State, who were recently imprisoned for fraud, were charged and prosecuted by the PDP administrations of Umaru Musa Yarâ€™adua and Goodluck Jonathanâ€™ and not by the All Progressive Congress-led government of Muhammadu Buhari.
PDP has also asked President Buhari to probe the allegations of corruption and sharp practices that pervaded the recovery of the N1.03trillion fine imposed on MTN Nigeria.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was dragged to court by an Edo State based anti-corruption crusader, Bishop Osadolor Ochei, seeking the court to compel EFCC to act on petitions against the former governor and commence his investigation and prosecution.
In a statement issued by PDPâ€™s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said it believed that Oshiomhole was being officially shielded from investigation by the presidency.
â€œWe challenge the presidency to come out clear on its involvement in the efforts to protect former Governor Oshiomhole as well as other APC members from prosecution over corruption allegations,â€ PDP said.
The party urged Nigerians to join the call for the investigation and prosecution of the erstwhile governor over the weighty allegations against him.
PDP condemned the official shielding of Oshiomhole, whom President Buhari had anointed as his preferred National Chairman of what it called the dysfunctional All Progressives Congress (APC), in spite of the public knowledge of the corruption allegations against him.
â€œOshiomhole must be made to provide answers to allegations that he built a sprawling mansion worth more than N10 billion in his hometown as well as allegedly constructing another expensive building said to worth over N500 million along Okoro-otun Avenue in Benin City. He should answer to allegations by Bishop Ochei that he approved a highly inflated contract and payment without due process of N1.88 billion for the construction of hostel rooms at the Edo State University, Iyamho; that he allegedly approved an inflated N1.22 billion contract for the building of the Teaching Hospital in the same institution as well as an alleged diversion of N1.2 billion approved for the construction of a new accident and emergency ward complex and renovation of existing structures in the Central Hospital, Benin City.â€
â€œThe PDP insists that Oshiomhole must be made to provide answers on the handling of the N25 billion he allegedly borrowed from the Capital Market through issuance of bonds; the alleged inflation of contract sums for various road projects in the state as well as allegations that he acquired properties in United States, South Africa and Dubai worth billions of dollars,â€ PDP added.
In another development, PDP alleged that President Buhari and his administration have a lot of questions to answer on how the MTN fine was reduced to N330 billion, particularly on the face of allegations that certain interests in the Presidential Villa, said to be very close to President Buhari, allegedly took a bribe of N500 million before the reduction.
In a separate statement, Ologbondiyan said it was disgusting that while this allegation of bribery at the Villa has remained uncleared by the presidency, President Buhari, the same African Union (AU) Anti-Corruption Champion, last Wednesday, approved the frittering of another N500 million from the same fund, under controversial claims of professional fees to unnamed persons for unspecified services.
In a separate statement issued yesterday, Omokri faulted the claim by the EFCC that the recent convictions of former PDP members has vindicated the EFCC from the accusation that the anti-graft agency, under Buhari, is lukewarm in prosecuting chieftains of the ruling APC, for corruption.
Omokri argued that the EFCCâ€™s claim only serves to show the dishonesty and lack of integrity of the current leadership of the agency.
â€œThe fact is that Dariye and Nyame, the two former PDP members recently imprisoned for fraud, were charged and prosecuted by the PDP administrations of Umaru Musa Yarâ€™adua and Goodluck Jonathan and not by the APC-led government of Buhari,â€ he said.