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Saturday, 31 March 2018

CORRUPTION: Who Is More Guilty, PDP Or APC?

After a back and forth verbal spar between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the main opposition party, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) over who is more corrupt, the APC-led federal government on Friday released a list of Nigerians and members of the PDP they said were corrupt.

After raising Nigerians' expectations that it would release a list of corrupt PDP members, the minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed simply churned our names of individuals facing trial for various allegations in the law courts; information that is already public knowledge.

Rather than spoil the image of the PDP, Mohammed's list has seemingly succeeded in whipping up sympathy for the PDP, as many now view government's fight against corruption as a one sided battle aimed at opposition members while leaving out those accused of graft within its fold.

Ironically, many prominent members of the APC were part of the PDP and the last administration of Goodluck Jonathan which the current government has continued to blame for the nation's woes, by asserting at every given opportunity, that they massively looted the nation's treasury, and destroyed the country's economy.

There is also the perception among Nigerians that a good number of opposition members who decamped to the APC did so mainly to avoid being persecuted for allegations of graft, as no known APC member accused of corruption has been known to face trial under the current government.

Prominent members of the Muhammadu Buhari administration who have been accused of corruption, but conspicuously left out in Mohammed's list are;

Senate President Bukola Saraki: He is facing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for alleged false assets declaration.

The federal government prosecuting Saraki accused him of falsely declaring his assets at the end of his tenure as the governor of Kwara State in 2011.

He was also accused of making false declaration on a property titled 17A McDonald Street, Ikoyi, Lagos upon assumption as a senator in 2011.

The prosecution said that Saraki declared falsely that he acquired the Ikoyi property on Sept. 6, 2006, from the proceeds of sale of rice and sugar.

Saraki was also accused of making false asset declaration at the end of his tenure as the governor of Kwara State in 2011 and on assumption of office as a Senator in 2011.

The prosecution said that the defendant then also declared falsely when he claimed that he acquired another property at 17B McDonald, Ikoyi Lagos, on Sept. 6, 2006 from the proceeds of sale of rice and sugar.

The prosecution accused him that he failed to declare his outstanding loan liabilities of N315, 054,355.92 out of the loan of N380, 000,000 obtained from Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.

The trial is still ongoing.

Minister of Mines and Steel, Kayode Fayemi: As former governor of Ekiti State, Fayemi has been having a running battle with the current administration led by Ayodele Fayose over allegations of graft against the minister.

The state government in January this year, filed a criminal charge against Fayemi, and his former Commissioner for Finance, Dapo Kolawole.

Read also: KOGI: Some of the escaped suspects linked to Melaye rearrested- Police

The 19 counts filed before the state High Court, Ado Ekiti, border on allegation of corruption, abuse of office and criminal contempt, among others.

The state government filed the charges barely two weeks after releasing a white paper, which barred Fayemi and Kolawole from holding a public office for 10 years.

The two were barred based on the report of the Justice Silas Oyewole Judicial Commission of Inquiry, which indicted them over alleged mismanagement of the state's finances between October 2010 and 2014.

According to the charge sheet No HAD/05c/2018, Fayemi and Kolawole, among other allegations, misappropriated N4.9bn, being the proceeds of the Ekiti State Bond for the sum of N20bn earmarked in the bond prospectus for various projects in the state that
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