By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo
A former Assistant National Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ), Midat Joseph has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of sabotaging the war against corruption by granting state pardon to convicted corrupt politicians.
The former NUJ scribe said the President has betrayed his conscience and the promise to fight corruption by granting state pardon to former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye and forme Governor r of Taraba State, Rev. Jolly Nyame.
The Journalist, in a Statement also accused the President of abusing the sensibility of the EFCC who spent 11 years trying the corrupt politicians only release them in less than two years of their conviction.
“The two former governors were tried for 11 years and got convicted, they made appeals, yet their conviction was affirmed by the apex court of our country, the Supreme court.”
“All of the charges in which they were tried were on corruption. Corruption is one of the things that has retarded development of this country over the years.”
“And for the President to just wake up and pardon these former chief executives of the two states after been convicted of stealing monies meant for the development of their states stands condemned.”
“How do you explain that a government which came to power under the mantra of fighting corruption, has set free persons who have been convicted for stealing funds in billions?”
“It then suggest that the so called pledge to fight corruption by the General Muhammadu Buhari administration was indeed a scam.”
“The granting of pardon to these convicted corrupt politicians has even made nonsense of tthe judiciary for enforcing the law of the land and sending these former governors to prison for corruption. It means the President has overturned those judgements that convicted politicians.”
“This doesn’t make sense and has the ability to weaken the spirit of the judiciary. And is clear grandstanding.”
“If persons who willfully stole public funds because of their position at the time cannot be punished, then there is no need for any law. This is because the essence of punishment is to serve as deterrent,” he added.
According to the former NUJ’s scribe the President’s State pardon was a clear message that the “politicians can continue to steal public funds without fear because they will be granted state pardon by another politician.”
“Yes, the act of granting amnesty or pardon is within the President’s constitutional rights, but he must exercise this right in the best interest of the country, so as not to create doubts and dampen the confidence of, the citizenry in the national moral fabric, and in the fight against corruption.”
“Of what use to budgets huge sums of money for the prosecution of such accused persons from the tax players’ sweat; and if after the rigorous period of trial and subsequent conviction, the guilty are simply set free?
“I dare say that the President and his core travellers (Council of State) have succeeded in abusing the sensibility of Nigerians, the EFCC and the ICPC act should be abolished, there is no need for their existence if they will spent years and tax payers monies to prosecute corrupt politicians and at the end of their conviction, they are pardoned and given clean bill to vie for political office again.”
“It is clear that the Buhari led government has now declare stealing of public funds open, this is sad.”