By Chima Onyekachi

President Muhammadu Buhari has a penchant for shielding his political associates and family members who have been linked to corruption. Remember, Buhari defended late Sani Abacha, that Abacha never stole government funds and called him a saint but at the same time received discovered fund stolen by Abacha and stashed away in Switzerland and other countries. Buhari deceived Nigerians into believing he is going to fight corruption but rather he has been selective and witch-hunting political opposition with corruption charges.

Recently, Buhari declared none of his ministers or political associates working with him are corrupt and reiterated his faith in them. It is not surprising that the president feels that way because he is a beneficiary of most of the embezzled government funds. Former governor of Rivers state and current Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, was dubbed an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) for Buhari’s presidential campaign by a foreign media outlet and that is totally true. Ameachi sold Rivers state government properties without accountability and also embezzled state funds on fictitious project, all in his bid to sponsor Muhammadu Buhari to become president. A non-governmental group (NGO) named Integrity Group has investigated and submitted petitions to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), for the probe of Amaechi but the agency has been mandated not to investigate.

General Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), few days after his promotion bought property worth over $1.5 million in Dubai, UAE and when it was discovered he claimed that the property belonged to one of his wives. The EFCC instead of investigating the claim has decided to lock up the Nigeria office of the agents that facilitated the acquisition of the property in Dubai. Muhammadu Buhari has refused to release the authentic report of the Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces, because his close ally and the current Minister of Interior, Major General Abdul Rahman Dambazau (rtd) was Chief of Army Staff between 2008 and 2010 and also COAS Tukur Buratai served as Director of Procurements, Defence Headquarters, from 2012 till May 2015.

A doctored version of the committee’s report was released indicting past military chiefs like Azubuike Ihejirika and Kenneth Minimah but deliberately excluding the report on the audit of procurement from 2007 to 2010. Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said Mr Dambazzau’s name was not included among those indicted because the third interim report only looked into procurement and contracts awarded for and by the military between 2011-2015, claiming documents regarding procurement from 2007 to 2010 are missing. A close examination of the report by CHIMA ONYEKACHI, showed that the terms of reference in its heading said it queried all procurement from 2007 to 2015. The report clearly stated as thus “Press Release on the Third Interim Report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement from 2007 to 2015. This reporter also observed that the first paragraph of the committee report indicated that it used 2007-2015 as reference, stating that the committee ‘analyzed procurement contracts awarded by or for the Nigeria Army between 2007 and 2015.’ This shows clearly that Dambazzau and Burutai are amongst those indicted by the panel but they are being shielded by Buhari.

President Muhammadu Buhari is playing with the intelligence of Nigerians in his so called war against corruption while displaying sheer hypocrisy and nepotism. Why were documents on procurement from 2011 and 2015 available and those of 2007 to 2010 not available? Buhari also assisted his associate and a member of his 19-man transition committee, Jafaru Isa, to get out of the case instituted against him by EFCC on in his involvement in “Dasukigate.” The Haliburton bribery scandal involving Atiku Abubakar and even his wife, Aisha Buhari, has been swept under the carpet and the Nigeria media gagged. EFCC has collaborated with most Nigeria media outlets to make a show of hunting for corrupt persons, with so called evidences been displayed on several Nigeria media platforms instead of the court of law. Most times, the EFCC will not charge the arrested individuals to court but will lock them up in cells for weeks or months, abusing their fundamental human right in the guise of investigating. Why arrest an individual without a proper investigation? The EFCC under Buhari has severally trampled on the rule of law by brazenly disobeying court orders issued to them.

Governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, former Minister Femi Fani-Kayode, cousin to ex-president Jonathan and others have been harassed and mostly locked up on frivolous charges by the EFCC. About $2.8 Billion petroleum fund went missing under the administration of Buhari as petroleum head and the probe report indicting him went missing when he took power via coup d’état from a democratic elected Shehu Shagari. The committee constituted by Olusegun Obasanjo to probe the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF), indicted Buhari for inflating price for contracts with his consortium made up mainly of members of his family. No one should be deceived, most ministers and associates of President Muhammadu Buhari are corruption personified.

Authored by Chima Onyekachi, for the Great Biafra Journalists.

Published by Okpalaeze.

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