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Presidency’s shielding of Imoke against the rule of law –AC

Posted by By Sun News Publishing on 2008/07/30 | Views: 1806 |

Presidency’s shielding of Imoke against the rule of law –AC


The Action Congress (AC) has condemned the hypocrisy of the Yar’Adua administration, which touts the rule of law as a mantra but does everything to undermine it.

The Action Congress (AC) has condemned the hypocrisy of the Yar’Adua administration, which touts the rule of law as a mantra but does everything to undermine it.
The party was reacting to the yet-to-be-denied newspaper report that President Yar’Adua, acting on orders from former President Olusegun Obasanjo, prevented the arrest of former Cross River Governor Liyel Imoke by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over his alleged involvement in the frittering away of billions of Naira earmarked for the power sector.

"Since the administration has not denied the story, we are compelled to believe it, and we condemn such intervention in the strongest possible terms," the party said in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. "We will also like Nigerians to know early on that the Presidency is preventing the EFCC from carrying out its duty, thus thwarting the administration’s anti-corruption fight and making Nigeria a laughing stock in the comity of nations," it said.

AC said while it had nothing to gain from the arrest of Imoke, since the party has no candidate for the rerun gubernatorial election in Cross River State, all Nigerians, irrespective of their status or political connections, should be equal under the law. It noted that former Aviation Ministers, Babalola Borishade and Femi Fani-Kayode were arrested in the premises of the National Assembly based on testimony of someone who testified during the aviation probe, not on the report of the probe.

But in the case of Imoke, he is being shielded from arrest to pave the way for him to contest the rerun as a candidate of the PDP, even when indications are that the power probe report has indicted him. "Now that he is out of office, Imoke has lost his immunity and can be easily arrested and charged over his alleged role in the power mess. That means he will not be eligible to contest the rerun. This is why his supporters, backed by the Presidency, are peddling egregious red herrings.

"It is worrisome that the release of the power probe report is now seemingly being delayed while the whole issue has been politicised, all to protect the political career of a supposedly-indicted but well-connected key player in the power mess. "To worsen things, the so-called Cross River State National Assembly Caucus has joined the list of those seeking to trash the report to protect Imoke. This is sad for Nigeria," AC said. The party urged the House of Representatives to immediately release the report and called on the Yar’Adua administration to urgently bring to book all those indicted by it.

"Failure to do this will lend credence to the published reports that the administration as well as the leadership of the House are involved in a cover up, and further erode the credibility of the anti-corruption battle, which was weakened by the double-standard of the past Obasanjo administration," AC said.

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