Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday urged the Senate to further give credibility to its ministerial screening by sending the names of the nominees to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said that the screening exercise must have enabled the Senate to further confirm that many of the nominees presented to it by President Muhammadu Buhari include individuals, who as former governors and ministers, wrecked their states and ministries and have serious allegations of corruption, abuse of office and stealing of public funds hanging on their necks.
The main opposition party noted that the nomination of persons with corruption badges to serve in the federal cabinet has overtly established the fact that President Buhari not only condones but also explicitly promotes corruption, which has escalated into a state art since he assumed office in 2015.
According to PDP, “this is particularly as President Buhari had asserted that he would only nominate persons he knows “personally”.
“It, therefore speaks volumes that the persons Mr. President “personally” knows and has nominated as ministers include such individuals that have been publicly indicted and known to be answering questions as accomplices in ongoing corruption cases in various courts.
“The PDP calls on the Senate to note that some of the nominees have failed to defend their corruption allegations. This includes a particular former minister from the North Central, who had admitted to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) of complicity in the N2.5 billion National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) fraud case, still pending in court.
“This is in addition to certain nominees who, as state governors, swindled their states, fleeced workers and committed several financial crimes for which they should rather be standing trial, instead of being rewarded with official protection as ministers.
“Our party notes that the gathering of corrupt persons as cabinet ministers is a clear pointer to a scheme by the cabal in the Presidency to further entrench corruption in our nation”.
PDP urged the Senate to take a cursory look into the allegations of bribe-for-ministerial-slot, making the rounds in the public space, explaining that the Senate must rise to the occasion and ensure that Nigerians are not totally let down.