Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, has said that the President will not investigate how aspirants got the whopping sums of money they spent on buying the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential nomination forms.
He disclosed this while featuring on a Channels TV programme on Thursday.
No fewer than 30 aspirants have picked the ruling party’s presidential nomination and expression of interest forms, but Shehu said it was the job of the anti-graft agencies, the media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to find out the source of such funds and not the President.
He said, “The question is how did they get N100m to buy the forms? I think the question should go to each individual aspirant. This kind of scrutiny is up to the civil societies and the media to ask questions, but saying the President should launch an investigation, I don’t think that is the direct way to go.
“If ICPC or EFCC will say ‘Mr Permanent Secretary, where did you get this money from?’, the President will not stop them.”
‘N100m forms should be applauded’
According to Shehu, the cost of the Presidential forms of the APC should be applauded as the party needs the money to run its electioneering activities.
“The party made a case for this and the national chairman was applauded because this is a party that doesn’t take money from the treasury,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Shehu said the President’s directive that Ministers, heads of agencies and other appointees seeking elective offices should resign their appointments was not in connection with section 84 of the Electoral Act.
“He made no reference to section 84, he simply gave the directive and I think it’s clear that as the head of the executive arm of government, he owns the executive authority and power to decide,” Shehu said.
He allayed concerns that there would be a vacuum in government following the directive of the President. “The President has given his directives, clearly stated out and it’s for everyone to place themselves where they belong.
“The directive from the government is that if you are a minister and you have a minister of state, hand over to the minister of state. If you don’t have a minister of state, hand over to the permanent secretary.
“If you are a head of a government agency, parastatal, extra ministerial government department, ambassador, hand over to the most senior officer in your department.”