Corruption: Western lawyer blasts Buhari for “Holier than thou” attitude

By Amako Nneji December 2, 2015 11:07

Corruption: Western lawyer blasts Buhari for “Holier than thou” attitude

President Muhammadu Buhari’s self acclaimed towering integrity seems to have dropped to an all time low after failed campaign promises, his perceived dubious role as Petroleum Minister, his time as Petroleum Trust Fund, Chairman, and a perceived manipulation of the law to witch hunt political opponents.

This sentiment was revealed in an open letter by lawyer, Bruce Fein published by Huffington Post and addressed to Buhari. In the letter, the President was attacked for using the law to “witch hunt political enemies while shielding political allies that have run foul from the law.”

Writing from Washington DC, USA, Fein queried “In the United States, you declared a policy of ‘zero tolerance’ against corruption. You solicited weapons and other assistance from the United States government based on that avowal. But were you sincere?’’

This came on the heels of Bloomberg attributing the downturn in foreign investors’ interest in Nigeria economy to the ex-dictator’s “uncertain and haphazard” economic policies.

Bloomberg averred that Buhari’s mismanagement and policy inertia had fizzled the hope to turn around Africa’s largest economy and oil producer.

See: How Buhari scared off investors – Bloomberg

    “But to be just, the law must be evenhanded. It cannot, in the manner of Russian President Vladimir Putin, be something that is given to punish your enemies and withheld to favor your friends. If so, the law becomes an instrument of injustice bearing earmarks of the wicked rather than the good.

    “During your election campaign, you promised widespread amnesty, not zero tolerance.

    “After you were inaugurated, however, you disowned your statement and declared you would prosecute past ministers or other officials for corruption or fraud. And then again you immediately hedged.”

Further reference was made to untrue projections the President presented of himself.

    “You were reminded of your dubious past by former Major General and President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, who succeeded your military dictatorship. He released this statement:

    ‘On General Buhari, it is not in IBB’s tradition to take up issues with his colleague former President. But for the purpose of record, we are conversant with General Buhari’s so-called holier-than-thou attitude. He is a one-time Minister of Petroleum and we have good records of his tenure as minister. Secondly, he presided over the Petroleum Trust Fund, PTF, which records we also have.

    “We challenge him to come out with clean hands in those two portfolios he headed. Or we will help him to expose his records of performance during those periods. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. General Buhari should be properly guided.’

    “You then swiftly backed off your zero tolerance policy because you would have been its first casualty.”

See: Halliburton Scandal: IBB, Obj, Abdulsalami deny threat to expose Buhari’s NNPC scandal

The lawyer added; “You opportunistically announced that zero tolerance would be narrowed to the predecessor administration of Goodluck Jonathan because to probe further would be ‘a waste of time.’ That conclusion seems preposterous.

    “In 2012, the World Bank’s ex-vice president for Africa, Oby Ezekwesili, estimated that a stupendous $400 billion in Nigerian oil revenues had been stolen or misspent since independence in 1960. The lion’s share of that corruption spans far beyond the Jonathan administration.

    “Your zero tolerance policy seems to come with a squint to avoid seeing culpability in your political friends. A few examples are but the tip of the iceberg.

    “Former Lagos governor and head of your campaign finance team Babatunde Fashola was accused of squandering N78 million of government money to upgrade his personal website. The EFCC has ignored these corruption allegations, and you have given both promotions: the Ministry of Transport to Mr. Amaechi, and the Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing to Mr. Fashola.

    “In contrast, you have played judge, jury, and prosecutor in the newspapers to convict former PDP Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke of corruption.

    “Is this evenhanded justice?”