Makarfi faults APC’s anti-graft war, says posterity will judge
• SERAP urges FG to approach ICC for arrest warrant against Alison-Madueke
The National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, has faulted the anti-corruption crusade of the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying there are enough proofs that the war has failed.
Makarfi told some journalists in Kaduna yesterday that Nigerians would be able to assess the anti-corruption crusade under President Buhari better after the end of his tenure.
He alleged that there is enough proof that under the present government, the country is still entangled in corruption. According to him, “we will be able to assess APC government when they leave office. By 2019 when we take over, we are not going to be vindictive but the truth would prevail. Who told you there are no petitions against them as they are in office right now?
“When they leave office, we will see what will come up, we will know whether corruption is something limited to one political party. We are not doing justice to the fight against corruption when we try to politicise it.’’
Highlighting how the anti-graft war is being prosecuted by the Buhari administration, the PDP boss said, “take a look at the private sector, those the EFCC has charged to court, no politician has been tried or taken to court for anything near that.
“Go to the private sector and the public service, even some of the security agencies, but if you try to just narrow corruption to only politicians from the opposition parties, we are undermining the fight.’’
On why the Senate committee he headed while in the Senate cleared former Petroleum Minister, Deziani Alison-Madueke, Makarfi explained: “We did not investigate her, we investigated NNPC and the proceeds of sale of crude that NNPC was supposed to have remitted to the federation account and for the period of either 15 or 16 months, a limited period of time.
“Our report made it clear. There are several aspects under her ministry that we did not look into, because we were not mandated to look into them. But still, within the area we investigated, our report was clear that over a billion was not accounted for. Our report was clear, it is a matter to do with NNPC and we said that every cent should be accounted for and should be a continuous process.”
And alarmed by the allegations of corruption against former Petroleum Minister, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) yesterday, urged the Federal Government to seek an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC) to bring her before the court.
The group also wants the government to consider the allegation as crimes against humanity and serious enough for it to sanction her prosecution before the court.
SERAP, in a statement signed by its Deputy Director, Timothy Adewale, further urged the Federal Government to “pursue civil actions to ensure that all the funds allegedly stolen by her are fully recovered and duly accounted for.”
According to the organisation, “by pursuing international warrant of arrest for Alison-Madueke in order for her to be brought before the ICC, your government would be showing to Nigerians that it is indeed determined to match its stated commitment to combat grand corruption and its debilitating effects with concrete and bold action.”
The group stressed that the “ allegations of corruption against Diezani Alison-Madueke suggest the manifest failure of the government of former President Goodluck Jonathan to protect Nigerians from such heinous crimes. Your government now has the responsibility to take bold action to sufficiently redress this injustice committed against Nigerians, and the significant long-term damage for the country.”
SERAP’s request followed growing allegations of corruption against Alison-Madueke and the recent disclosure by the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had recovered about half a trillion naira from her.
Several court orders have also seized millions of dollars from bank accounts and forfeiture of several houses both in Nigeria and abroad linked to her.
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