IN support of the federal government’s plan to probe the past administration, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to hesitate in investigating and prosecuting any of its members found to be corrupt. The party said because of its integrity, it would neither condone nor abet corrupt persons.
But it noted that in the said prosecution of the affected members, the federal government must adhere to the rule of law. Olisa Metuh, national publicity secretary of the party, stated this in an interview in Abuja. He said as a policy, the party would not hesitate to condemn anyone found to have flouted the law of the land.
“They (any PDP members found to be corrupt) should be investigated and prosecuted according to the law of the land. All we want is that the law of the land must be followed. We will, however, insist that there must be respect for the human rights and that the rights of the individuals must not be violated. The law assumes everyone to be innocent until proven otherwise. With this, the government must not see anyone to be corrupt first. They are innocent until found guilty by court of law,” he said.
Metuh added that it would be wrong for the government or anyone to see members of the PDP as criminals, even when there was nothing incriminating found with them. He said everyone, including suspects, must be seen to even be innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
The PDP spokesman called on the federal government to also beam its searchlights on members of the ruling APC, adding that the fight against corruption must be holistic. “We as a party will support the fight against corruption. However, the fight must be holistic and there mustn’t be any sacred cow.”
The call followed the statement made by the President that he would probe former minister under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. President Buhari had vowed, Wednesday, July 22, to arrest and prosecute former ministers and government officials who looted funds and stole Nigeria’s crude oil. Buhari, who said the suspected officials stashed the funds in foreign bank accounts, spoke during his four-day visit to the United States.
The Presidency said there were trails of monumental fraud everywhere that would be too difficult to ignore, however, explained that it will be a distraction to exceed Jonathan’s regime. Before leaving office, former president Jonathan had said any probe by the new government would be seen as a “witch-hunt” if it fails to go beyond his administration. The Presidency, however, argued that it was not a witch-hunt. Nigerians and indeed the world is watching to see how this will play out.
Culled from Punch
— Aug 3, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT