The Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civic Education has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to probe Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, over his role in the N90bn allegedly released to him by the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
SaharaReporters recalls that a former deputy spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress, Timi Frank, had alleged that Osinbajo started having issues when the presidency discovered that he mismanaged N90bn allegedly made available by the FIRS for 2019 election campaign purposes.
In a petition obtained by SaharaReporters on Thursday, the group said that the allegations against Nigeria’s number two citizen were very weighty and worrisome especially against the background that in the build up to the 2019 elections, President Muhammadu Buhari made it clear that public funds would not be approved for the purpose of political campaigns.
The petition reads, “On the basis of this express declaration from the President to the effect that public funds will not be deployed to fund electioneering purpose of the ruling party, the Nigerian people believed and trusted the President’s pledge.
“However, the claims by Timi Frank are implying that the ruling party did not adhere to the directives of the President on his proclaimed non-use of public funds to prosecute the election in favour of the ruling party.
“If these allegations are proven to be true, it would also mean that the campaign finance legislation governing the electoral process, as enshrined in the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, had been flagrantly violated.
“As a former Deputy Publicity Secretary of the ruling party with the benefit of wide contacts in the seat of power, Timi Frank could as well be privy to information, which the rest of us may not know.
“As such, only a meticulous investigation of these claims will bring the truth to life.
“In the light of these developments and their implications for the legitimacy of the government, and by extension the anti-corruption crusade, CHRICED calls for a robust, painstaking and thorough investigation of these claims with a view to verifying whether they are true or false.
“This step from your honourable commission is critical, and will help clear the air, and douse the suspicion, which the allegations have precipitated since they began circulating.
“If the Vice President is culpable as these allegations claim, then he should be made to face the consequences of such culpability.
“However, if the claimant making the allegations is found to be deceiving the public, appropriate steps should be taken to hold him to account in line with the rule of law.”