BY GRACE ANYANWU, ABUJA – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday said delay by the Federal Government in arraigning suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, over allegations of fraud is heightening suspicion in the public space that there is an attempt to give him a soft landing.
It said that the soft landing is to cover up for certain top officials of the Buhari administration as well as some leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) alleged to have been indicted by the suspended EFCC chairman, in the course of his investigation by the Presidential Panel.
The party particularly said that the delay is raising public apprehensions over the integrity of the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
The PDP in a stement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan explained that its’s position is predicated on conflicting reports on the status of the processes related to Magu’s on-going investigations and the direction of the Federal Government on the matter.
Ologbondiyan said that the PDP holds that where there are no undesirable underhand dealings, any government that is committed to the fight against corruption, in such a manner that the Buhari Presidency wants the world to believe it does, should have since perfected its processes and arraign the suspended EFCC acting Chairman in court, particularly with the weight of allegations and revelations unearthed at the Presidential panel.
According to the PDP; “The fact is that the allegations of fraud including alleged stealing of billions of naira recovered by the EFCC among other accusations, which also include alleged transfer of stolen money to certain government officials, are already in the public domain.
“The expectation of Nigerians therefore is for the Federal Government to immediately arraign Magu before a court of competent jurisdiction and prosecute him in line with the dictates of our laws.
“Nigerians are apprehensive that the EFCC investigation might go the way of the huge cover up in the handling of cases of unbridled treasury looting in the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) among others where indicted officials were given a pat on the wrist without prosecution.
“Our party charges the Buhari Presidency to note that the world is watching the handling of the EFCC fraud case with keen interest. The Federal Government should therefore take immediate steps to arraign Magu and all those indicted in the matter before a court of competent jurisdiction without any further delay,” the PDP said.