The the Yoruba social-cultural group, Afenifere, has described the invitation of Mr. Ayodele Oke, former Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and his wife by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the cash found in a private apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos, as proof that the government’s anti-corruption war is selective.
This was contained in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr. Yinka Odumakin. According to the statement, the decision of the agency not to extend invite Mr. Babachir Lawal, the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who was recently sacked along with Mr. Oke, puts a question mark on the fidelity of the anti-graft war.
While stating that it believes Mr. Oke should be investigated if he had been indicted of wrongdoing by the panel headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the group stated that it decided at its monthly meeting on Monday in Akure that Mr. Abdurasheed Maina, former boss of the Pension Reform Task Team, who has been surreptitiously reinstated into the civil service, must be arrested and prosecuted.
The group also demanded that those behind his reinstatement be punished. Afenifere accused the Presidency of choreographing the work of the EFCC.
“Following the public outcry that the Presidency should hand the former officials (Lawal and Oke) to the EFCC for prosecution after their sack, spokesmen of the administration have been speaking in forked tongues about Presidency not tele-guiding the anti-graft war and that the agency would exercise its discretion. Now the EFCC has exercised that discretion to invite Oke, sparing Lawal, who was initially protected by the Presidency and defended after he was indicted by the Senate for fraud,” the statement said.
The group recalled that Messrs. Oke and Lawal were suspended the same day, investigated by the same panel and sacked the same day by the President. It contended that inviting one and leaving the other shows that the anti-graft war is only effective against vulnerable targets, but toothless against the sacred cows.
“The EFCC must invite Lawal as it goes after Oke. We restate our declaration in Akure that all those who offend the laws must be treated equally before the law no matter their status or origin,” the group said.
Afenifere used the opportunity to express condolence to former Mr. Bola Tinubu, leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), over the death of his son on Wednesday. The group urged the Tinubu family to submit to the will of God who gives and takes life.
“It is our prayer that God Almighty will comfort the family over this loss and spread his wing of protection over all those he has left behind. They will not have cause to mourn any of their young again,” said the group.