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HURIWA seeks probe into allegation against Buhari’s relatives


Emmanuel Onwubiko

Demands dismissal of president’s SSA over alleged certificate forgery
A PRO-DEMOCRACY group, Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA), has urged credible civil society groups to investigate allegation of corruption levelled against the family of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement yesterday, signed by the Executive Director of the group, Mr. Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA called for an urgent investigation into the allegation by presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, that some members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s family own a substantial share in multi-billion naira telecoms giant, Etisalat Nigeria, adding that the group is already in talks with 35 civil society groups headed by persons of unimpeachable characters.

It added that these people would launch a comprehensive but forensic probe through the use of investigative skills of some stakeholders and the legal framework such as the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act.

Besides, the group has also criticised Buhari’s administration for condoning ostensible certificate forgers in its administration.It said that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution, Mr. Okoi Obono Obla, remained in public service even when statutory bodies had certified that he forged his credentials.

HURIWA, which maintained that it would be in the self-enlightened interest of the President to sack all his special assistants indicted institutionally as certificate forgers, said: “The failure of the police and the President to act shows a clear complicity by the holders of top offices in the land to sweep under the carpets such grave allegations which also confirmed the lack of seriousness on the part of the President to come clean on the allegations that he too has no WAEC certificate as against the claims he made before vying for the highest office in the land.

“The attitudes and tendencies of President Buhari to tolerate and protect his allies with questionable characters and proven records of fake academic certificates are worrying signals that indeed relatives of the President may have actually abused their privileged positions of being relatives of the President to illegally enrich themselves to the detriment of the corporate image of the country.”

“The dismissal by the wave of hand of such a weighty accusations by Obono Obla who is said to have the backing of the Chief of Staff to the President is the height of impunity. Mr. Obla cannot hide under political godfathers to fail to clear the grave allegation that he forged his WAEC. We dismissed his numerous court cases as time-wasting gambits aimed at buying time and to confuse the gullible Nigerians contrary to a clear testimony made before the House of Representatives by the statutory body responsible for issuing the said certificate, which he allegedly mutilated.”

HURIWA, therefore, expressed the optimism that legal actions would be taken soon to get to the roots of the grave allegations just as it states that Obono Obla cannot enjoy the protection of powerful political forces for too long.

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