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PDP demands truth commission in anti-graft war


Olisa Metuh, National Publicity Secretary of the People's Democratic Party.

Olisa Metuh, National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party.

• Alleges selective crusade • Seeks probe of other ex-leaders
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday declared support for “an honest, holistic and total war against corruption” in the country and demanded prosecution of all those involved, including those who may have returned ‘loots’ to the government.

Also, the opposition party challenged the Federal Government to establish a national truth commission to allow for an open and free exchange of views on corruption issues.

In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, PDP further urged President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the probe of presidential security votes to other past heads of states instead of limiting it to former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

The party rejected what it called “any one-sided public trial and mob conviction of accused persons without following the age-long and worldwide legal process wherein all accused persons are presumed innocent until the contrary is lawfully proved.”

The statement said: “We do not believe that mere investigation confers a guilt verdict on those concerned and the government should stop the brutal mob and public conviction of individuals and the transfer of the burden of proof to people being investigated.

We restate, for emphasis, that a media and public war against corruption is good, but it should not be limited to only those opposed to the President and the ruling party. In fact, until top officials of the former government open up on the exact source of the funding, it remains premature to be accusing our party members of corrupt practices.
“Nevertheless, if indeed the government’s investigation includes the expenditure of President Jonathan security votes from 2011, then it should be extended to a public inquisition on the following:

• The security votes of all past Presidents and heads of state from 1984;

• The award of contracts by the Petroleum Task Force from 1993 to 1999;

• The expenditure of our military and purchases during the Bakassi wars, the fight against militancy in the Niger Delta, military interventions in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda among others;

• The source of funding of the PDP and APC’s 2015 Presidential campaigns; the contributions from APC-controlled state governors for their Presidential campaign and the beneficiaries thereof; and

• The allegation that people were made ministers just to cover up the slush fund that they provided to finance the APC presidential campaign.”

PDP further said that “in the light of the way and manner of this government’s selective prosecution of the war against corruption, the PDP challenges the government to set up a National Truth Commission wherein politicians and other Nigerians publicly discuss the true meaning of corrupt practice in our land.

This commission would also provide a platform for a proper public inquisition into the mind-boggling wealth of some Nigerians in public office.

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