By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – The group of protesters led by good governance activist cum maverick entertainer, Charles Oputa, also known as Charly Boy, Sunday announced plans to commence a daily sit-out to focre President Muhammadu Buhari to take action against alleged corruption by top members of his government.
In a statement jointly signed by Charly Boy, Deji Adeyanju, Bako Abdul Usman, Ariyo Atoye, and Moses Paul, the group said it would commence a daily sit out at the Unity Fountain, Abuja, from Tuesday October 17th, 2017 to highlight the insouciance of the Federal Government in prosecuting top officials of the Buhari administration and strongly demand that President Buhari takes action against them in line with his anti-corruption campaign.
The group urged well-meaning Nigerians to participate in the daily sit out to compel the Federal Government to put a halt to the looting of the public purse under the current administration and to prosecute all those found culpable.
The statement reads: “Over the course of the last 29 months, several allegations of corruption, mismanagement of public funds and outright looting of the national treasury have surfaced against top officials of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Recently, a letter written by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, to President Buhari was leaked. In it, Mr. Kachikwu alleged that the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, had entered into contracts worth $26bn (Twenty Six Billion Dollars) without following due process and in contravention of the provisions of the NNPC Act, Public Procurement Act and other regulations governing the process for committing the Federal Government to contracts.
“Prior to the monumental allegations of corruption in the leaked letter, several other allegations of corruption and outright looting of the national treasury had surfaced against other top officials of the Buhari administration. These include:
“The $43m found in the Osborne Apartments allegedly stolen and hidden by the suspended Director of the National Intelligence Agency, Mr. Ayo Oke.
“The mismanagement and theft of funds meant for the welfare of people displaced by the ongoing war against Boko Haram in the North Eastern part of the country by the suspended Secretary General of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal to the tune of N270m (Two Hundred & Seventy Million Naira).
“Allegations of bribery to the tune of N120bn (One Hundred and Twenty Billion Naira) against the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Navy, Senator Isah Missau.
“Allegations of corrupt enrichment made by the Ekiti State House of Assembly against the Minister of Mines & Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to the tune of N40bn (Forty Billion Naira).
“During the course of these weighty allegations, Nigerians had expected that President Buhari would fulfil his campaign promises of fighting corruption by ensuring the swift investigation, arrest and prosecution of any person so suspected of looting the public treasury. We are however dismayed by the apathy displayed in this regard by the Federal Government.
“Instead, the reports of the investigation of some of these allegations have been totally ignored by the President. In other cases, these officials seek to use the apparatus of the Nigerian State to silence these allegations and stifle their investigation and prosecution. An example is the application made by the Inspector General of Police before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, seeking an order restraining the Senate from investigating the allegations of bribery made against him.
“In the light of these disturbing developments and the insouciance of the Federal Government in fighting them, we shall commence a daily sit out at the Unity Fountain, Abuja, from Tuesday October 17th, 2017 to highlight these allegations of corruption against these and other top officials of the Buhari administration and strongly demand that President Buhari takes action against them in line with his anti-corruption campaign. The sit out will commence from 09:00am and will hold daily until the president moves to decisively tackle these issues.
“We invite all Nigerians to participate in this sit out to compel the Federal Government to put a halt to the looting of the public purse and to prosecute all those found culpable of corruption.”