Corruption cases: CSOs threaten nationwide protest over non prosecution of Akpabio, others - Saga Gist - Top Source for Nigeria News

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Tuesday, February 5

Corruption cases: CSOs threaten nationwide protest over non prosecution of Akpabio, others




The Civil Society Groups for Accountability and Probity have threatened to embark on a nationwide protest following the non-prosecution of former Governor of Akwa Ibom, Sen. Godswill Akpabio and others, indicted for corruption in the country
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Jonathan Ogwuche, National Secretary of the group said that the failure of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to act on several petitions it submitted against Sen. Akpabio, had discredited the current government’s fight against corruption.
Ogwuche explained that the CSOs would have no other option than to protest to draw the attention of the international community if President Muhammadu Buhari fails to take action on the matter.
“We herein call on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct the EFCC to proceed with the prosecution of Sen. Godswill Akpabio while a similar presidential directive should be issued to the CCB to proceed with the trial of Akpabio at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
“Justice should take its full course without creating room for sacred cows. We shall mobilise our members across Nigeria for a massive protest if no sane measures are taken to address these anomalies of selective anti-graft war,” Ogwuche said.
He said that the shielding of Akpabio and others from the EFCC and Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) could mean that there are sacred cows in the country, as the cases against him were not given due consideration by the relevant ant-graft agencies.
“The Civil Society Groups for Accountability and Probity has keenly followed the twists and turns of events with respect to the war on corruption.
“From our vox pop, the indications are rife that the greater percentage of the public have come to agree that the anti-corruption campaign of this administration has lost its steam and rather assumed a political coloration to wit.
“It appears that those who have cross-carpeted to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) or are sympathetic to the fortunes of the APC have had their financial crimes and/or corruption charges swept under the carpet.
“This will only spells doom for national development, and in the same light, it does not speak well of our democracy.
“Indeed, there are litany of such corruption cases that have been waved with the whiff of complacent winds from the Agencies who ordinarily should have presided over the prosecution of the characters behind these crimes,” Ogwuche said.
According to him the rate at which investigation against was concluded when he was with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the way all activity relating to his investigation by the EFCC have been abruptly discontinued after he joined the APC, is a dangerous signal to the fight against corruption.
Ogwuche said: “It is on record that Sen. Akpabio owns several outlandish properties/assets in several choice locations within Nigeria and abroad for which he did not include in his assets declaration forms while the CCB maintains silence without charging him before the Tribunal like they were swift to do in the case of His Lordship the Honorable Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen.
“We have made spirited efforts to rouse the EFCC and CCB from their eternal slumber through all available vistas within the precincts of the law; we have written several times to these anti-graft bodies both directly and through open publications without any response.”