The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been told to provide an update to Nigerians on the petition to it by a former Managing Director of Alpha Beta against the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, which alleged massive corruption and misappropriation of funds belonging to Lagos State government.
The call was made by the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council in a press briefing coordinated by the Director, of Strategic Communication, Dele Momodu, in Abuja on Sunday.
Speaking on the matter, a spokesperson of the council, Daniel Bwala, said the anti-graft agency needs to address the nation on its findings.
He said: “A few years ago, the former Managing Director of Alpha Beta lodged a petition at the EFCC against the former governor of Lagos state and now a presidential candidate of APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
“The petition involves massive corruption and misappropriation of funds belonging to the government of Lagos state, abuse of official office, and conflict of interests. The said petition raised issues bordering on a wide range of corruption allegations. We call on the EFCC to address the nation on their findings of the investigation, which we believe is long overdue.”
He also spoke on the forfeiture of the sum of $660,000 by Tinubu to the United States authorities over a drug and narcotic-related case, stressing the danger of drugs to the survival of Nigeria.
The campaign spokesman also urged the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to act on its recent interception of large volumes of cocaine and bring the culprits to book no matter how highly connected.
He said: “Gentlemen of the press, you would recall that the court in Chicago had convicted Tinubu of a drug and narcotic-related case to which he forfeited the sum of $660,000. Our country is afflicted by opioids, and other drug-related cases which have constituted a threat to our national security.
“Example is the recent interception of large volumes of cocaine by the NDLEA to which the nation is still awaiting a statement about not only the immediate individuals who were arrested but the links and association of these individuals to any person no matter how highly placed he or she are in the society.
“Recently even a spy cop (Abba Kyari) was arrested and is being prosecuted for an allegation of drugs and narcotics. We call on the NDLEA to address the nation on the busted drugs and possible linkage.”
The campaign similarly called on Nigerian security and intelligence agencies to investigate and where necessary arrest all those involved in the setting up of the militia called “Jagaban Soldiers,” because of its wider implication for the coming elections.
Bwala argued: “Recently the presidential candidate of APC via his agents has created a militia called “Jagaban Soldiers” and “Battalions” for the alleged purposes of executing his political agenda which could have a wider implication to the peaceful conduct of elections and the human rights of the citizens of Nigeria.
“Only God knows what their plans are, but it is predictable because the militia was created shortly after the leaked video of the candidate of APC in London calling on his followers and members of APC to embark on widespread violence towards the election. The video has been in the public domain.
“Also shortly after his declaration violence visited several states by members of APC on the opposition in rallies, homes, streets etc. The creation of a militia has never happened in Nigeria’s political history until now.
“We call on Nigeria’s security and intelligence platforms to investigate and where necessary arrest all those involved including the presidential candidate of APC.
“We also call on the domestic and international election observers majority of them are already here in Nigeria, we also call on the ECOWAS, US, UK, European Union and other development partners to look into this obvious threat to the peaceful conduct of elections.”
The PDP Campaign Council also called for the removal of Festus Keyamo as a minister, arguing that he is using his position to intimidate security agencies following his recent pressure over the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
According to Bwala, Nigerians are confused as to whether or not the Minister of State for Labour and Employment is acting on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Bwala added: “Using a serving cabinet minister of PMB to bully and intimidate an institution of government.
“Gentlemen of the press, you will recall that recently a serving minister of the APC government has written a letter to agencies of the government who are the same members of the executive branch of government and demanded that in 72 hours they should prosecute a presidential candidate of PDP (Atiku Abubakar).
“In their press conference, they bragged about their powers and control of law enforcement. He, whilst serving as a cabinet member and campaign spokesman, uses the taxpayer’s money, official privilege, and powers to heavily compromise government agencies.
“This is even coming amidst the widespread allegation of corruption involving the minister and the 52 billion nairas approved to his ministry for the empowerment of 774 LGA Nigerians.
“The National Assembly had called for an investigation of how the project was executed and until now the issue has not been told to the Nigerian people. This singular conduct has brought the government of President Buhari to disrepute and threatened the legacy he said he will leave behind.
“It is believed now that president Buhari who recently was reported as saying cabinet members should focus on governance and not be involved in the campaign has since made a U-turn and task on his cabinet members to influence the agencies of government in favour of APC.
“Members of the opposition are reported to be increasingly invited by law enforcement for one question or the other in other to weaken the opposition.
“We call on the president to sack the minister of state for labour and employment forthwith for using an official position funded by tax payer’s money to interfere with the conduct of free, fair and credible elections.
“We also call on the president to read the riots act to agents of the government from inter-fearing this election. Any effort to intimidate opposition is an effort to interfere with the conduct of a peaceful election.”
Bwala complained of threat to the lives of PDP members following the declaration by Tinubu in London to APC members to, “at all cost grab, snatch and run with his mandate.”
Also speaking at the briefing, Phrank Shaibu, Special Assistant, Public Communication to Atiku, recalled that on the eve of the Presidential elections in Lagos in 2019, two cash-laden bullion vans were seen on Tinubu’s premises located at 26 Bourdillon Street, Ikoyi, noting that the content was ostensibly for vote buying.
He said when journalists asked the former Lagos State governor about the bullion vans, he told them that it was his money and he was free to spend it whichever way he liked, quoting him, ‘Even if I have money to spend in my premises, what is your headache?’
Shaibu similarly recounted that a group of activists including Ariyo Dare-Atoye and Deji Adeyanju had written a petition to the EFCC on October 25, 2019, calling for the investigation and prosecution of Tinubu for breaching the Money Laundering Act after publicly admitting to sharing millions of naira on the eve of elections.
According to him, in fairness to the EFCC, its current Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, while he was the Head of the Lagos office of the EFCC, wrote a letter to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
Shaibu said in the letter marked CR/3000/EFCC/LS/Vol4/322, dated November 6, 2020, Bawa requested Tinubu’s asset declaration forms, but quoting a newspaper report, the CCB said it had misplaced the forms.
The presidential flag bearer aide stated: “Since Tinubu emerged as the presidential candidate of the APC, the EFCC has kept mum on the issue while Ariyo who wrote the petition has unfortunately died. We hereby call on the EFCC to provide an update on this matter.”
He called on the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to revisit the case of the APC flag bearer allegedly illegally operating 10 foreign accounts during his term as Lagos governor because he was never acquitted.
He explained: “Besides, Tinubu had in 2011 been charged before the same Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over allegations that he illegally operated 10 foreign accounts during his term in office as Lagos state governor between 1999 and 2007 but was discharged based on a technicality
“Danladi Umar, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal admitted on March 24, 2016, in the case of FRN vs Bukola Saraki that he discharged Tinubu in error.
“On the discharge of the former Lagos State governor by the tribunal some years ago simply because the CCB failed to fulfil the condition precedent, we have since realised that we acted in error in discharging Mr Tinubu on that ground and we have since departed from that error,” Umar said. It is therefore important for both the CCB and the EFCC to revisit the case since Tinubu was never acquitted.”
ALSO READ FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE