Corruption allegations: Afenifere demands ministers’ resignation

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From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure

P an-Yoruba socio cultural organisation, Afenifere,
has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to relieve
ministers fingered in corrupt acts,
by some judges
recently accused of graft, who were arrested by the
Department of State Security (DSS) of their duties
with immediate effect.
This was even as the group tasked the National
Judicial Council (NJC) to investigate allegations of
corruption levelled against the judges, with a view
to ensuring that offenders are prosecuted in
accordance with the laws of the land.
Rising from its monthly meeting held at the
residence of its leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, in
Akure yesterday, Afenifere expressed readiness to
join president Buhari in his fight against corruption,
and added that the fight must be fair and balanced.
Publicity Secretary of the organisation, Mr. Yinka
Odumakin, who read the communiqué at the end of
the meeting, said: “Afenifere is determined to
ensure that it uses all machinery to ensure that
ministers fingered in corruption are properly
investigated and those found guilty prosecuted.
“For the ministers who have been mentioned for
attempting to pervert the course of justice, we are
asking that such minister should step aside
immediately as minister.
“After that, they should go through due process of
the law to either ascertain their innocence or, if
their guilt is established, they should be punished
according to the laws of the land,” the group
stated.
Afenifere also lauded the current investigation of
some judges in the country but condemned the
manner they were arrested by operatives of the
DSS between October 7-8.
“Investigating corruption is within the purview of
the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
(EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and
other related Offences Commission (ICPC).
“For anybody to go to anybody’s home at about
1.00am and say ‘I am DSS official,’ in a country
where the wife of the Governor of the Central Bank
of Nigeria (CBN) was kidnapped is abnormal.
“Therefore, we frown at going to the homes of the
judges at night.
“We also believe that the judges are not above the
laws of the land just because they are judges.
“If a judge is arrested with cocaine in his bag at
the airport by the National Drug Law Enforcement
Agency (NDLEA), he goes in for trial. If a judge
imports contraband into the country and Customs
arrest him, he will be tried.
“But, for offences committed by judges in the
course of their duty, it is the NJC that the law says
should deal with them and not the DSS or any
other agency.
“We, therefore, commend the Chief Judge of
Nigeria (CJN), Mahmud Mohammed for boldly
rising in defence of Separation of Powers.”
On the current economic crisis in the country,
Afenifere advised the president to employ the
services of financial experts as a way of getting out
of the crisis, stressing that “it is imperative for
president Buhari to look for the best brains in
economics to formulate economic policies in this
period of recession.”
Also, the apex Yoruba group noted that the harsh
economy has led to untold hardship on Nigerians,
just as it attributed social unrest in some parts of
the country to the economic recession in the
nation.

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