ECA Probe: Oshiomhole, El-Rufai, only interested in witch-hunting – Arewa Group

By Ayoola Mudasiru July 8, 2015 18:36

ECA Probe: Oshiomhole, El-Rufai, only interested in witch-hunting – Arewa Group

A group, Voice of Arewa Youth, VAY, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute a neutral body to probe alleged claims that the NNPC withheld N3.8 trillion of the N8.1trillion generated from oil receipts and $2.1 billion said to have been unilaterally withdrawn by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

It warned that the four-man committee set up is made up of parties in the matter and may therefore not be unbiased.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, leader of the group, Mallam Bello Khalifa stressed that as desirable as the probe is, considering the deficit of development in the country, the composition of the probe panel was faulty maintaining that an interested party in a matter cannot be an unbiased umpire.

He explained that prior to the committee, some of its members had openly accused persons in the former administration particularly the former Minister of Finance, Ngozie Okonjo-Iweala of not been prudent in the handling of the nation’s finances.

Recall that even before the expiration of her tenure, the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, have both repeatedly accused her of financial malfeasance even without evidence in that direction.

He said, “As laudable as this move is considering the deficit of development in the country, our fear is that the exercise if not properly handled might not yield the expected result.

    “This is evidenced in the suspicion that exists between the members of the present executives and the previous one. While the present administration accuses the former of lack of prudence in the management of the nation’s resources, the previous administration sees the incumbent as speaking as an opposition and advises it to put on the toga of a government.

    “As trivial as these varying views may seem, one thing is clear, both parties are suspicious of each other. Besides some of the governors were part of the previous administration and kept mute over these issues only to cry foul when the previous government lost reelection.

    “All these and many more reasons have made us convinced that these issues are thorny and therefore a neutral organ would better handle the probe. The allegations made by the incumbent government are weighty and a neutral organ of government with the responsibility to checking it would be a better option to do the job after all an interested party cannot be an unbiased umpire.”

The group further appealed to the President to steer clear of issues that could portray him as not keeping to his words when he declared that his Governments will not witch-hunt members of the past Government.

    “In his inauguration speech, President Buhari assured Nigerians and the world at large, that his Government will not witch-hunt members of the past government. Since he is known as a man of integrity and a man of his word, the time has come for the President to stand up to his promise and show us that he is indeed not interested in witch-hunting.

    “Setting up probe panels made of sitting governors will not only distract the presidency but also distract the state governors from implementing the change agendas for the economic development of their respective states,” the group through its Spokesperson said.

It would be recalled that the National Economic Council had recently set up a committee comprising of Governors of Gombe, Edo, Akwa-Ibom and Kaduna states to probe alleged claim that the NNPC withheld N3.8 trillion of the N8.1trillion generated from oil receipt and $2.1 billion said to have been unilaterally withdrawn by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in the last six months of its tenure.