Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Thursday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to hand over a minister under his watch fingered for corruption to security agencies for prosecution.
Ortom made the appeal to the president while answering questions from newsmen in Makurdi shortly after delivering his keynote speech at the Makurdi branch of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) law week.
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It came after the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, spoke of a female minister who bought a $37.5 million property and deposited $20m in cash.
Bawa has since said the unnamed minister was not in the Buhari administration.
Ortom said, ‘Today in Nigeria, there’s no equity, no fairness, no justice. Look at all the things he promised Nigerians that he will do. Is it corruption? Is it electricity, is it security or what?
“You can imagine, a minister serving currently in the Federal Republic of Nigeria was caught buying a $37million estate. And we are told by the EFCC Chairman himself that this Minister remitted $20million to the bank. And EFCC was able to track this money and got it. What have we heard about it? Who is that Minister?
“If Mr. President is a man of Integrity, he should bring that Minister out and let him face prosecution. But for this issue of selective justice against people. Is it not here that an APC (National) Chairman came and said when you join APC you have become a Saint and your old sins are forgiven and they will draw a line?
“Today, you see so many corrupt people in the federal executive council. People who were having cases with EFCC and all that, have you heard about them again? This is the point. And that means there’s selective justice. So, they should allow the EFCC to function as enshrined in the law establishing it. They should allow anti-corruption agencies to function.”
Rejects call for Buhari’s resignation
The governor said rather than ask the President to resign as asked by newsmen, he will prefer that all stakeholders come together and look at the matters threatening the existence of the country.
“That is my call to Mr. President. But unfortunately, when you say objective points that will help solve this problem that we are in today, they go there insulting and blackmailing you and even make jest of what you are saying.
“I would say that we need to come together. Mr. President cannot do it alone. Mr. President requires the 774 local government chairman, Mr. President requires the 36 governors, Mr. President requires all of us, ministers, governors, the traditional rulers to come together.
“He should listen to them because the problem we have here is different from the one happening in Zamfara, Kaduna and other states. So, if we sit together, we will be able to find a common ground to discuss and solve this problem.
“There are issues that Mr. President will need to address. There are issues that governors, local government chairmen, traditional rulers and the people themselves will need to address because we are in a democratic Government.
“And so, I would want Mr. President to arrange whatever you call it; Summit or dialogue or conference or whatever. But there is need to come together and discuss. Our people say that it’s the sitting together of Mbagbera people that they know how to blacksmith. If we seat together, we will be able to panel-beat the whole thing and come to a resolution that will be a win win for Mr. President, for governors, for chairmen and for the rest of the people of this country.
“But as at today, all is not well with Nigeria. My appeal to Mr. President is that he should not allow this country to dissolve under his hand because Nigerian trusted him in 2015, in 2019 he was also trusted and reelected into office. He should reciprocate by ensuring good governance, equity, fairness and justice,” Ortom posited.