• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Buhari must tackle corruption holistically – PDP Reps

To match Interview NIGERIA-BUHARI/

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus in the House of Representatives has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to adopt a holistic approach in its fight against corruption.

Rima Kwewum (PDP-Taraba), spokesman of the caucus, gave the charge during media chat at the National Assembly complex, Abuja.

Kwewum, who applauded the resolve of the present ad-ministration towards tackling the endemic corruption in the country, expressed support for the prosecution of perpetrators in relevant court of competent jurisdiction.“Probe should not be limited to selected citizens of the country.

A crime could have been committed 10 years ago, it is still a crime. Nobody has the power to decide on his own that a crime committed at a certain period is no longer a crime.

“A crime at any point so long as it is within our memory, as long as facts can be brought up is a crime.“This is why we are saying as a party that the fight against corruption should not have any limi-tation about what has happened as to time,’’ the lawmaker said.

Kwewum argued that “the President does not have the power to say some crimes would be probed while others would not. The Constitution stipulates that all citizens must be treated equally. How can an offence committed in 2010 or before then not be a crime, while the one committed last year is a crime?”

He noted that “more than half APC members are from the PDP, at least, three former National Chairmen of our party are in APC. Are you saying when you cross to APC, you are no longer corrupt? What we are saying is that legal process should be fol-lowed,”

He added.Kwewum, who was flanked by other members of the cau-cus, said it would be unfair to state that the PDP-led Federal Government did not fight cor-ruption, and listed some PDP members who were tried and jailed for corrupt practices.

He cited former Bayelsa State Governor, Dipreye Alamieyesei-gha and PDP Chieftain, Bode George who were convicted and served jail terms, and Femi Fani-Kayode whose trial continued evven when he was spokesperson for the Jonathan Presidential Campaign.

Kwewum, who expressed the caucus’ solidarity to President Buhari however, emphasised the need for Federal Government to deliver on its promises to Nige-rians and not be preoccupied by only anti-corruption crusade.

“How can you come and say that you are not going to pros-ecute people because you have arbitrarily drawn a line without an amendment to the constitu-tion? Because the constitution has not given status of limitation. Any criminal activity is a crimi-nal activity until it is investigated and its perpetrators are penal-ised,’’ Kwewum said.

In a related development, Marrk Igbillah (APC-Benue) in a chat with BusinessDay urged President Buhari to probe the National Identity Card scandal.

Igbillah who, expressed reservation over the setting up of parallel anti-graft special court, rather emphasized the need to strengthen the existing courts and institutions namely: Economic and Financial Crimes Commis-sion (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Crimes Commission (ICPC).

“I’m completely in support of the anti-graft stance of the government and the decision to investigate the massive looting of our treasury by the erstwhile government.

“I what to also encourage government to go beyond the immediate past administration, to also investigate past issues that we all know in this country, like the national identity card scam, where somebody walked free after billions of dollars were stolen just with a petty fine.

That issue should not be swept under the carpet,” Igbillah said.

 

KEHINDE AKINTOLA