President Muhammadu Buhari has continued with the war against corruption in Nigeria by declaring through the presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, that nobody who is found guilty of corruption will be spared including the former president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity also made it known in the course of his visit to the office of Premium Times news newspaper in Abuja on Thursday, that the president will not shield anyone, (not even Jonathan) who is accused of corruption from being taken to court or anyone who is found guilty of the same from facing the punishment he deserves.
Since the $2.1 billion arms deal scandal went into the hands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), many high ranking officers who worked with the former president and also his political colleagues in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), which is now the present opposition party, have either been tried or investigated by the EFCC. In the on going investigations into the alleged diversion of the money set aside for the purchase of arms by the immediate past government, the former president’s name has popped up a few times as some of those presently on trial have mentioned him.
Prominent among the on going trials is the case of Sambo Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser (NSA) under Jonathan’s administration. Sambo who is accused of turning the $2.1 billion arms deal money to another direction, distributing it to politicians and allies of former president Jonathan, however, claims that he was given power to do so by Jonathan in order to assist the progress of his 2015 presidential campaign and for the country’s programmes on security.
The National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, who was granted a 400 million naira bail on Tuesday, January 19th, by the Federal High Court Abuja, has also agreed that he accepted funds from Sambo Dasuki to carry out some substantial responsibilities for Jonathan.
With these claims coming from these strong figures in the arms deal saga, one is left in doubt as to if Jonathan who during the power hand over in 2015 was assured by President Buhari that he had nothing to fear, will still be able to hold unto those words going by the way Buhari in collaboration with the EFCC, is going about the anti-corruption war. Since the former president’s name was put forward for consideration with regards to the $2.1 billion deal, there has been a strong insistence from Nigerians that he be investigated but the EFCC still maintains that they are yet to find any proof against him.
Following the release of Gen. Jafaru Isa, an All Progressive Congress party member, who was accused of almost the same crime with Olisa Metuh of the PDP, after he returned a N100 million out of the N170 million he received illegally from Sambo, people saw it as an evidence of the fact that President Buhari is partial against the opposition party. Expressing a contrary opinion, Mr. Adesina said,
“There is no accord that if corruption is proven, it will not be tried,” talking about Jonathan. “With this president, nobody will be protected. And I underscore it, if it needs to get anywhere, it will get there. If the President had wanted to protect him (Jafuru Isa), he would not have been arrested in the first place.”