Published On: Fri, Aug 16th, 2019

Anti-corruption fight biting harder

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Recent developments in the government anti-corruption war has indicated that there may not be any hiding place for men of shady past and kleptomaniacs in power.
Buhari has been under perpetual attacks from critics who accuse him of focusing only on the opposition elements in his anti-corruption war while men of itchy fingers are being ignored in his government.
To demonstrate his impartiality in the past, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, was dismissed over a N544 million grass cutting scandal in the Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE). He had since been arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside others fingered in the scam.
Criticisms and allegations of nepotism have continued to trail the President’s action as his traducers found nothing noteworthy done by his government against some of his lieutenants with allegations of corruption hanging around their necks.
The latest victim of Buhari’s anti-graft war is the erstwhile Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla. He was recently sacked by the President owing to the recommendation of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC).
According to reports, the ICPC allegedly found Okono-Obla culpable in an allegation of certificate forgery and may soon be charged to court for this and other financial malfeasances.
It was reported that with the information at the ICPC, the government may request his alma mater, University of Jos, to withdraw his Law degree and the Law School to debar him from practice.
Should the government implement these far reaching disciplinary recommendations proposed by the ICPC, Okono-Obla would have been dealt a debilitating blow that will leave an everlasting scar on the face of his character.
Similarly, another big fish in Buhari’s administration currently under EFCC radar is the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita. Reports emanating from the anti-graft agency indicated that the first civil servant in the country is being investigated for a N3 billion contract scam.
According to the report, she was also interrogated for alleged abuse of duty tour allowance, money laundering and stealing of government funds.
Already, the EFCC was said to have discovered the sum of of N600 million cool cash hibernating in one of her aide’s account. Oyo-Ita, who was granted administrative bail by the anti-graft agency, was said to have landed in an Abuja hospital after her ordeal with the EFCC.
With the ongoing investigation of one of the administrative pillars of the government, the allegation that the Buhari’s administration’s corruption Bulldogs are fighting corruption selectively has been smashed.
The government must however be reminded that corruption will find a way of fighting back as usual. Already, blackmailers have begun their trade as they are alleging that both Obono-Obla and Oyo-Ita are being singled out for probe because they are southerners. The government must not succumb to this blackmail. Whoever is found culpable in the crusade against corruption, regardless of where he/she hails from, must not be spared; he/she must be made to face the law. No room for tribalization of corruption. Citizens are expecting to see more arrests of people helping themselves with the commonwealth. Enough is enough.

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