Six advocacy groups have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that Messrs. Babachir Lawal, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Ayo Oke, former Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) are made to face prosecution for corruption.
The groups made the demand in a statement jointly signed by their leaders/conveners. The groups are OurMumuDonDo, Concerned Nigerians, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, Campaign For Democracy and Mad Connect.
While they cautiously commended the President for sacking the two men after an indication of involvement in corruption, the groups demanded their immediate prosecution and release of the report that indicted them.
"While we have no objection to the current prevailing sentiment that it is better late than never, we are resolute in our demands for the immediate prosecution of Lawal and Oke and for the report which indicted them to be made public," the groups said in the statement.
They warned President Buhari stopping at just sacking Messrs. Lawal and Oke, as it would amount to a mitigation of their crimes against the Nigerian people. The groups also demanded an immediate probe of the roles of Dr. Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Dr. Ibe Kachiukwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources in the $25illion contracts awarded by the NNPC.
In addition, they called on the President to ensure that the matter of Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, former acting Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, is not swept under the carpet as it had earlier been done. According to the groups, Mr. Maina should be arrested and prosecuted to serve a deterrent to other looters. The groups also observed that the anti-corruption war of the Federal Government is fast losing steam
"As a group of genuinely concerned citizens, we must remind President Buhari that the fight against corruption is sharply losing momentum because top government officials in the President’s cabinet are being shielded by the president. In the best interest of Nigeria and the administration, we strongly urge the president to act on other cases of corruption involving top officials in his administration and ensure that they are prosecuted accordingly," the groups stated.
In the event that this is not done, the groups added, the anti-corruption war will completely lose the trust it enjoyed when President Buhari assumed office and the country will be worse than it was in 2015.
Those who signed the statement were Messrs. Charles Oputa (OurMumuDonDo), Deji Adeyanju (Concerned Nigerians), Ariyo Dare Atoye (Coalition in Defence Of Nigerian Democracy), Bako Abdul Usman (Campaign For Democracy) and Moses Paul (MAD Connect).