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South East traders back Buhari’s anti-graft war

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South East Traders have expressed support for President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption, saying they were satisfied with the way and manner in which the Federal Government had prosecuted the anti-graft war so far.

In a statement issued in Enugu, yesterday, the South East Amalgamated Market Traders Association (SEAMATA), their umbrella body, however, insisted that the anti-corruption crusade should be prosecuted without sentiments.

The statement signed by President and Secretary of SEAMATA, Gozie Akudolu and Alex Okwudili, noted that the removal of former Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, was a clear indication that there were no sacred cows in the fight against graft.

They urged the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), not to be distracted by social media reports over the removal of Magu, but insist on winning the war against corruption with evidences and solid proofs.

Insisting that corruption had retarded the country’s progress and development in all ramifications, the traders added, “This is why the present issues at the EFCC should be handled without emotions and sentiments. Information is still sketchy, but some of them appear novel, in line with due process and support for the principles of fair hearing.”

They stated that the memorandum from Malami to President Buhari, detailing infractions against the EFCC and its managers was in order and in line with his supervisory functions.

“Malami’s action is an unprecedented act of courage and should be commended. In the past, ministers have been in unholy alliances with chief executives of agencies and departments under their supervision, leading to massive corruption, colossal waste of public resources and economic conspiracy against Nigeria.

“That President Buhari acted in national interest and in line with his powers by setting up the Justice Salami Investigative Panel implies that it is an investigative panel and not a court.”

“The panel has provided opportunity for accused persons to defend themselves and nothing could be more independent and transparent than this process,” the statement added.

The traders argued that the issues being investigated bothered on serious financial crimes ranging from alleged re-looting of recovered property and assets to sabotage in the investigation, prosecution of high-profile corruption cases and as such, they should not be ignored.

They enjoined Nigerians to give Justice Salami and his colleagues an opportunity to conclude their inquiry, come up with their report and recommend actions before jumping to conclusions, urging the panel to avoid distractions, distortions and media manipulation that may emanate from the public.


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