The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has called on the Federal Government to expedite action at prosecuting former President Olusegun Obasanjo for the financial malpractices he perpetuated during his eight year regime.
This call followed the statement credited to the former president asking the FG to prosecute him for all wrongs done in his administration rather than prosecuting his aides. Obasanjo allegedly made this statement at the 50th Birthday Anniversary of the former Minister of Education, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili.
Reacting to the news, the Coalition’s Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran averred that it is high time the former president is brought to book for the atrocities perpetrated in his regime.
“The ex-President is right after all. He should be held liable for every financial malpractices perpetrated in his regime. CACOL has in many petitions and reminders provided the anti-graft agencies, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC, with all evidences required to investigate the allegations and prosecute the cases against former President Olusegun Obasanjo for corrupt practices committed during his eight years in power. Our Coalition provided them with enough leads that they ought to have worked with since six years ago, it is baffling that the former president has not been docked now.
Now that he has volunteered to face trial, the FG should not hesitate to grant the old man’s request. It is clear fact that the old soldier presided over scandals of international dimension. It has been revealed that 60 per cent of the Halliburton bribe money was collected during Obasanjo’s regime; the Wilbross Scandal is there, the Siemens Scandal, and even the Pentascope, which was said to have been registered on a Sunday and incurred more debt that the NITEL it came to rescue.
The Ndudi Elumelu’s Power Probe Report should also be revisited where the former president allegedly expended N16bn on Rural Electrification Scheme Project without any positive result to show for it. The pogrom he committed in Odi, Zaki-Biam and the killings of the O’odua Peoples’ Congress members in the South West should be investigated. His do-or-die politics, which led to thousands of lives wasted should be probed; the land grabbing allegations against the old man, and using his office to garner donations for his presidential library,” Adeniran submitted.
Speaking further, the anti-corruption crusader disclosed that the former president should also face trial for the illegal excess crude account opened by his administration.
“It is worthy of note that the so-called Excess Crude Account created by Obasanjo is illegal. He must tell the whole world why he created the account in the first place and what he used the money for. Why must his administration stack some much money in the account while many sectors of the country were in comatose. The roads were bad, the hospitals were nothing to write home about, and even the prices of petroleum products were jacked up making life unbearable for the masses.
The ex-President must also tell Nigerians where monies recovered from Abacha and other looters went to. Plunderers of our collective patrimony and national heritage must be brought to book. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo must be adequately punished for his financial malpractices during his tenure as the president.
Media Officer, CACOL
29 April 2013