OrderPaperToday – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a National Truth Commission if he is truly serious about the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
The opposition said it has to make the call given what it describes as the biased and one-sided nature of the president’s anti-corruption drive which targets members of its party while corrupt elements in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are made to appear sanctimonious.
On Dasukigate, the PDP challenged the Buhari administration to investigate security votes of past Presidents and Heads of State from 1984 to date and also probe the finances of the defunct Petroleum Task Force (PTF) which Buhari headed under the late Abacha military regime.
A statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Olisa Metuh said while the PDP remains in support of Buhari’s fight against Corruption, it must look into the past if the crusade must be taken very seriously.
“If indeed the government is interested in ending sleazes associated with campaign funds, the National Truth Commission will present an avenue for Nigerians to openly debate the issues therein with facts and figures,” the party said.
The statement said: “We are completely against any one-sided public trial and mob conviction of accused persons without following the age-long and worldwide legal process wherein all accused persons are presumed innocent until the contrary is lawfully proved. We do not believe that mere investigation confers a guilty verdict on those concerned and the government should stop the brutal mob and public conviction of individuals and the transfer of the burden of proof of people being investigated.
“We restate for emphasis that a media and public war against corruption is good, but it should not be limited to only those opposed to the President and the ruling party. In fact, until top officials of the former government open up on the exact source of the funding, it remains premature to be accusing our party members of corrupt practices.
“Nevertheless, if indeed the government’s investigation includes the expenditure of President Jonathan security votes from 2011, then it should be extended to a public inquisition on the following: The security votes of all past Presidents and Heads of state from 1984; The award of contracts by the petroleum task force from 1993 to 1999; expenditure of our military purchases and expenditure during the Bakassi wars, the fight against militancy in the Niger Delta, military interventions in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda among others; the source of funding of the PDP and APC’s 2015 Presidential campaigns; the contributions from APC controlled state governors for their Presidential campaign and the beneficiaries thereof as well as allegations that people were made ministers just to cover up the slush fund that they provided to finance the APC presidential campaign.
“In the light of the way and manner of this government’s selective prosecution of the war against corruption, the PDP challenges the government to set up a National Truth Commission wherein politicians and other Nigerians publicly discuss the true meaning of corrupt practice in our land. This commission would also provide a platform for a proper public inquisition into the mind-boggling wealth of some Nigerians in public office.
“Nigerians are quite eager to learn the business and investment tricks of past and present public officers in the APC fold, especially former governors, former ministers as well as their national leader, who suddenly acquired multi-billions investments and are now reputed to be the richest politicians in the country.”