The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has frowned at the Federal Government on the secret declaration of their assets and the recent withdrawal of the N2.45bn fraud suit against former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva from a Federal High Court.
This came on the heels of a statement by the head of Buhari’s media team, Garba Shehu, who indicated that the President and Vice-President had submitted their assets declaration forms separately to the Code of Conduct Bureau. The contents of the forms were however not disclosed. It would be recalled that while seeking election into the highest office of the land, the president had promised Nigerians to publicly declare his assets and liabilities as soon as he took over government.
Also the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr MS Diri withdrew the N2.45bn fraud charges against a former governor of Bayelsa State, Timpre Sylva. The EFCC had on May 18, 2015 re-arranged the former governor on six counts of fraud before a Federal High Court Justice.
Reacting to this on behalf of the Coalition, its Executive Chairman Comrade Debo Adeniran said “the Federal government doesn’t need to start on the wrong foot. They are taking the wrong foot first by not declaring their asset open as earlier stated by the President himself “that him and every member of his cabinet must first declare their assets publicly for everyone to know their worth before assuming office”. They have not being able to do so six days of their assumption into office and if they should start on this note; it would be highly disappointing.
Although the president and his cabinet claimed to have submitted all the list of their assets to the appropriate authority but they still need to make public declaration so that every citizen of Nigeria would know what their leaders have before assuming office and also to enable us assess them properly when leaving office at the end of their tenure.
Speaking further, he said “if President Buhari and his Vice don’t declare their asset publicly there would be nothing to show that their regime would be a transparent one at the long run, therefore he urged the present regime to declare their assets publicly before doing any other thing.
The withdrawal of the N2.45bn fraud suit against the former governor of Bayelsa State Sylva by the Federal government from the Federal High Court in Abuja is an indication that the FG has something they are trying cover and that would be a bad starting for their administration. The FG shouldn’t be involved in such a case, they should allow the anti-graft agencies carry out their duties. Nobody is saying Sylva is guilty or innocent but that can only be proven by a competent court of law. FG should not prevent him (Sylva) from going through the Judicial process because until he is allowed to go through the normal process it can’t be said that he is innocent and since the EFCC had already charged him to court, he should be allowed go through the Judicial process. “If he is found guilty he should be made to pay squarely for it because no corrupt culprit should be allow to go unpunished without paying dearly for it; but if he is proven innocent by the court of law then he should be allowed to go free.”
So much trust has been entrusted on this present regime therefore they should do everything within their power to be transparent to the fullest and also allow Justice to prevail in the Judiciary.
SOURCE: Universal Reporters.