Stop Targeting Our Politicians In Corruption Probe, Northern Groups Warn EFCC

Two prominent Northern groups have issued a strong warning to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against what they perceive as a bias against Northern politicians in recent corruption investigations.

The Northern Elders Progressive Forum (NEPF) and the Northern Professionals Development Group (NPDG) expressed their concerns in a joint communique following a two-day meeting on national issues.

The groups took specific issue with a recent report in the PUNCH newspaper, titled “EFCC Revives 13 Ex-Governors’ N772bn Fraud Cases,” which listed several Northern politicians among those facing corruption allegations.

The communique, signed by NEPF Chairman Dr. Usman Sani and read by NPDG Secretary Comrade Yusuf Abubakar Dingiyadi, stated, “We are dismayed with the recent reports and publication by the PUNCH Newspaper titled EFCC revives 13 ex-govs N772 bn fraud cases in which it published names of certain political leaders, and individuals with alleged accusations of amassing public wealth illegally without recourse to the due process and rule of law.

“The publication has now become a big embarrassment to them, their families, political associates, and our dear nation in the quest for objectivity, a presumption of innocent, emotional, and moral psyches.

“We think that certain groups of political class because of vendetta or other reasons are cheaply using some media platforms to drag the anti-graft agency image into disrepute to achieve cheap and unpopular political scores.”

“The commission should not allow itself to become a tool of political vendetta, blackmail or intimidation against any individual through personal grudges, persecution and campaign of calumny to tarnish the image of certain personalities or any perceived political enemies of the characters hiding behind their executive power to unleash allegations through media for public consumption and sympathy.

“There are groups of people who are allegedly sponsoring such sinister motives against some of the political leaders mentioned in the PUNCH story in order to tarnish their reputation; those affected are senators Adamu Abdullahi, Danjuma Gone, Rabu’u Musa Kwankwasko, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, Dr. Bello Mohammed Matawalle, Sule Lamido, among others.

“Most painful to see even the serving political leaders are not spared example of Dr. Bello Matawalle who has served Zamfara State meritoriously, honestly, diligently, and transparently, but his name was involved in this conspiracy by some hidden forces with the intention to destroy his good name and service rendered for the progress of his state and the country at large.

“However, we advise EFCC leadership to denounced the Punch publication and bring out a bond of assurance by ordering those petitioners, characters who allegedly accused those mentioned by the Punch Newspaper and many others to come out publicly and sign to pay compensation to those accused if after investigation and court process were found innocent from such allegations”.