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Prince Abubakar Audu : US group flays EFCC

By Yahaya Etila

A United States based non governmental organisation, Kogi Lawyers In The Diaspora (KLTD) has described the EFCC's recent actions on the former Governor of Kogi State and Governorship canditate of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Kogi state, Prince Abubakar Audu by declaring him wanted when there is a subsisting case in court as a “dishonourable low-level cheap shot media manipulation attempt” to divert the attention of the public from petitions against a former PDP Governor,Ibrahim Idris on his crude accumulation of wealth and properties beyond his combined emoluments, salaries and allowances for the period he held sway as governor by the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) as well as the Anti Corruption Network .

The group in an open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan signed by Adinoyi Malik and Olugbenga Samuel,which was made available to newsmen said ,“it is unfortunate that while Nigerians wait in vain for the EFCC, to investigate and prosecute the former PDP governor ,Ibrahim Idris ,The EFCC is busy fighting yesterday's battles, repeating old lies ,manufacturing spectacular new ones and over dramatising and old case just to hoodwink the public."

"Mr. President, It is a shame that the EFCC under your presidency has degenerated into a vindictive tool in the hands of politicians. If not, how does one explain a situation where the anti graft agency instead of asking the immediate past governor of Kogi state, Ibrahim Idris who crudely accumulated wealth and properties beyond his combined emoluments, salaries and allowances for the period he held sway as governor between 2003-2012, to explain where he got the resources to own Gubabi Royal Hotel, Dreamland Suites, Summerest Hotel, Palmac Hotel, Executive Suite and Grand Ibro Hotel, formerly known as Ibro Hotel, among other properties both in and outside Nigeria,chose to write letter No: CR: 3000 / EFCC / ABJ / ISOS / TM.11 / VOL. 7/ 37 dated 11th December, 2012 inviting Prince Audu for an interrogation over an undisclosed on-going investigation activities involving the former Governor, with a view to freshly arraigning him before a Court in Abuja in the face of a pending charge duly initiated by the same EFCC at the High Court of Justice presided over by Justice S. T. Hussaini and the Court of Appeal, Abuja in Appeal No: CA / A / 381c / 2011, alleging the same offences committed during the same period and arising from same facts as the pending and extant charges?"

"This media persecution of Prince Abubakar Audu is not different from the agency's funny action on Mr. Babalakin,who was charged with helping the former Delta State governor, James Ibori, launder money in 2007. This was six years ago. Haba! So the EFCC just woke up and realised that he should be tried for an offence he allegedly committed in 2007. Where was the case file all these years? This man allegedly laundered money for Ibori in 2007, yet three years later his company was awarded a road contract worth billions of naira. Who is deceiving who? Was the government not aware of the case with the EFCC or his alleged criminal dalliance with Ibori before doing business with him in 2009? Why is the government so insincere? Why do they think they can pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians with their selective war against corruption? Nigerians should not be deceived by this charade. Babalakin and the Presidency will soon sort their issues out. If this case is not a case of selective scapegoating, will ordinary Nigerians have known that Babalakin has a case file with the EFCC? What this means is that an alleged money launderer who has a case to answer still does business with the Federal Government. Can the government claim not to know that he has a case to answer? Why wait till this time? This can only happen in the Animal Farm called Nigeria."

Declaring Prince Abubakar Audu wanted has made the case look like the classical EFCC shadow-chasing. "It is this same deceitful and selective approach to the fight against corruption that has made Nigerians lose faith in the ability of this government to fight the scourge. There are questions begging for answers here.

Does the Supreme Court decision delivered on November 23, 2012 overruling Price Audu's appeal effectively and finally terminate his trial on the - 80 count charge at the High Court of Justice, Lokoja? Was it not unlawful for the EFCC to have invaded the residence of Prince Abubakar Audu in the early hours of 11th December, 2012 without any prior invitation and without a valid search warrant or warrant of arrest, under the pretext of arresting him and the subsequent wide publicity accorded the invasion by the EFCC in the print, electronic and internet media? "

" Mr President,the EFCC is not sincere in their fight against corruption. Just as an affirmation, Nigeria scored 27 out of a maximum 100 marks to clinch the 139th position out of the 176 countries surveyed in the latest report on global corruption released few weeks ago by Transparency International. It shared that position with Azerbaijan, Kenya, Nepal and Pakistan. Countries such as Togo, Mali, Niger and Benin fared better than Nigeria. This explains why Nigerians should not be fooled by this spectacle."

"We protest in very strong terms this primitive form of harassment and intimidation. As this current action the EFCC if unchecked ,may be rightly interpreted by the international community as promoting institutionalized intimidation in a democracy".

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Yahaya Etila and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."