The presidency yesterday react to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over what it described as attack on the anti-corruption war of the Muhammadu Buhari administration following the president’s endorsement of the the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State.
It expressed shock that the opposition party “which has been struggling to clear its name from alleged deals with the underworld in Dubai and the United States” has found the voice to attack the president.
The presidency was reacting to a statement by PDP in which it faulted Buhari’s endorsement of Ize-Iyamu, saying the president ought to have been aware that the Edo APC candidate was standing trial for corruption.
Reacting at the opposition party, presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, noted in a statement that forgetting its own history and antecedents, The PDP in a “garrulous statement went on rant against the government’s war against corruption, alleging its failure”.
The presidency challenged the PDP to first withdraw the governorship nominations it gave to some PDP governors before opening its mouth and “talk on the efforts of this administration in fighting corruption”.
Shehu said, “Both PDP governors were actually on bail from criminal trial on several counts of fraud and embezzlement. Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, July 1, 2016 granted bail to the former acting governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri. He was charged on June 30, 2016 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside his company, Mayim Construction and Properties Limited on a five-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N2.9 billion.
In the case of Bala Mohammed, the PDP Governor of Bauchi State, the EFCC, on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, arraigned the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, before Justice A. M. Talba of the Federal Capital Territory, High Court sitting in Gudu, Abuja, on a six-count charge bordering on abuse of office, false declaration of assets and fraud to the tune of N864 million.
“Bala, while in office as minister, allegedly received N550 million as bribe from Aso Savings and Loans Limited with respect to some properties in the Asokoro area of Abuja.
“He is said to have corruptly abused his position as Board Chairman of Aso Savings by allocating four numbers fully detached duplexes and 11 numbers semi-detached duplexes valued at N314 million through the Presidential Taskforce on Sale of Government Houses, to himself. The former minister is also accused of making false declaration of his assets.”
Shehu further explained that Pastor Ize-Iyamu was already being prosecuted by the EFCC alongside Lucky Imasuen, former deputy governor of Edo State, Chief Dan Orbih, PDP Chairman in Edo State and other leaders of the party in the state, Tony Aziegbemi and Efe Erimuoghae.
Shehu continued: “Under the country‘s laws only the courts can convict. A suspect remains a suspect until conviction. But, if in the view of the PDP, a suspect is guilty as charged, then they must show examples by withdrawing the nomination of their governors and the party’s numerous Senators and other legislators standing trial in various courts of the country.
“A party which 16 years in office destroyed the country’s economy and infrastructure has no moral authority to criticize the accelerated infrastructure development drive, largely drawing its energy from the Buhari anti-corruption campaign”.