The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has called on the Federal Government to expedite action at prosecuting former President Olusegun Obasanjo for the financial malpractices he perpetuated during his eight year regime, and make sure he is adequately punished.
This call followed the statement credited to the former president challenging the federal government to prosecute him for all wrongs done during his administration rather than prosecuting his aides. Obasanjo allegedly made this statement at the 50th birthday anniversary of the former Minister of Education, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili.
“Now that he has volunteered to face trial, the FG should not hesitate to grant the old man’s request,” the Coalition's Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran, said in reaction to the news. “It is clear fact that the old soldier presided over scandals of international dimension. It has been revealed that 60 per cent of the Halliburton bribe money was collected during Obasanjo’s regime; the Wilbross Scandal is there, the Siemens Scandal, and even the Pentascope, which was said to have been registered on a Sunday and incurred more debt that the NITEL it came to rescue.”
CACOL said Obasanjo was right in his assertion and should be held liable for every financial malpractices perpetrated in his regime.
“CACOL has in many petitions and reminders provided the anti-graft agencies, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), with all evidences required to investigate the allegations and prosecute the cases against former President Olusegun Obasanjo for corrupt practices committed during his eight years in power,” the statement said. “Our Coalition provided them with enough leads that they ought to have worked with since six years ago, it is baffling that the former president has not been docked [yet].”
The Coalition recalled, for purposes of a prospective probe:
• The Ndudi Elumelu Power Probe Report, where the former president allegedly expended $16bn on Rural Electrification Scheme Project with nothing positive to show for it;
• The pogrom he committed in Odi, Zaki-Biam and the killings of the O’odua Peoples’ Congress members in the South West;
• His do-or-die politics, which led to thousands of lives wasted;
• The land grabbing allegations against Obasanjo;
• Obasanjo’s use of his office to garner illegal donations for his presidential library.
CACOL further asserted that the former president should face trial for the illegal excess crude account opened by his administration.
“It is worthy of note that the so-called Excess Crude Account created by Obasanjo is illegal,” the statement continued, stressing that Obasanjo must tell the whole world why he created the account in the first place and what he used the money for in the face of many sectors of the country.
“The ex-President must also tell Nigerians where monies recovered from Abacha and other looters went to,” CACOL said. “Plunderers of our collective patrimony and national heritage must be brought to book.