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Federal Government Girls College Owerri • View topic - Yar’Adua Stops EFCC From Arresting Atiku, Nnamani, Tinubu,

Yar’Adua Stops EFCC From Arresting Atiku, Nnamani, Tinubu,

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Yar’Adua Stops EFCC From Arresting Atiku, Nnamani, Tinubu,

Postby weruche » Tue Jun 19, 2007 7:36 am

Akinmade and Olusola Sanni
Saturday, June 16, 2007

There were indications on Thursday that the President, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua, had directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) not to arrest some top functionaries of the last civilian administration as the commission had envisaged.


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Some of the top functionaries of the last administration allegedly penciled in for arrest by the EFCC included the former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; the former Governor of Enugu State, who is now a senator, Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani; the former Governor of Benue State, who is also now a senator, Chief George Akume; the former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; the former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Kalu, and some other former governors.

The Chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, had before May 29, 2007, when the last administration handed over power, said that a lot of governors would be arrested after their tenure must have ended over allegations of corrupt practices.

Sources told Saturday Tribune that the failure of the EFCC to arrest the former public functionaries was because of a directive by Yar’Adua that the commission should not arrest any of the former public office holders.

It was learnt that Yar’Adua further told Ribadu that even in situations where it became necessary for any arrest to be made, he (Yar’Adua) must personally give the clearance for the commission to do so.

Yar’Adua, Saturday Tribune learnt, gave the directive following complaints during his visits abroad that the EFCC was a political tool in the hands of the last government and his fear that such allegations could discredit the present government if allowed to continue.

Sources said that the complaint was more evident in the United States of America where some of the politicians, especially Abubakar and Kalu, had lodged complaints that the last government was persecuting them for political reasons and not for corrupt practices.

It was learnt that this was one of the conditions that Yar’Adua was given by some of the industrialised countries to get their support.

A Presidency source said, “I’m sure a lot of people would be amazed that some of these governors have been walking in and out of the EFCC in the last two weeks without being detained contrary to the threat of Ribadu.

“The reason for this is that Yar’Adua does not want to put in disarray the peace he has been trying to engender in the last two months with his decision to reach out to the opposition and the foreign countries with interest in Nigeria.

“Some of these countries, especially the United States of America, have said that the first way of reducing the tension was by disallowing the EFCC from arresting the former public office holders.

“Or do you think Ribadu, despite his numerous threats, would have watched Nnamani enter into the country and walk into the Senate as a free man after all the allegations the EFCC made against him?”

Barely 24 hours after Abubakar returned to the country, there were indications on Friday that the AC had put finishing touches to how it planned to engage the government of President Umaru Yar’Adua.

Sources close to the leadership of the AC told Saturday Tribune that after the reception held in honour of Abubakar in Abuja, the leaders of the party agreed to turn down the request by the Yar’Adua government for AC to participate in the Federal Government.

The National Chairman of the AC, Chief Bisi Akande; former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Abubakar; his running mate, Ben Obi, and some other national leaders of the party attended the meeting held on Thursday night.

It was gathered that the AC agreed to write Yar’Adua, rejecting the offer to participate in the government.

It was learnt that the letter would state the basis on which the AC would work with Yar’Adua.

The two major ingredients of the agreement were that Yar’Adua should reform the electoral process and restructure the country.

A party source who spoke with Saturday Tribune on Friday said the AC decided to meet on the decision of what to do with the overtures from the Yar’Adua camp because the issue seemed to have put the party in disarray since the inauguration of the Yar’Adua government.

The source said, “The position of the party has always been that we will not have anything to do with the Yar’Adua government.

“What necessitated the meeting on Thursday night was to make the party’s position clear to all members.”

One of the reasons the AC chose to ignore the request to participate in the Federal Government was that the party had decided to file a petition before the presidential election petition tribunal and that it would be counterproductive if it chose to participate in the Yar’Adua administration.

But Abubakar on Friday said that he would continue with his quest to pursue the alleged electoral malpractices in the April 21 presidential election through the electoral tribunal.

Abubakar, who stated this at an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja, said his party was yet to take any position on the overtures made by Yar’Adua.

He said the party might stick to its position by allowing the tribunal to make its pronouncement on the presidential election.

“We in the Action Congress (AC) are solid and are resolute in maintaining our stand as a formidable opposition to the administration,” he added.
...but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. ( Phil. 3: 13-14)
weruche
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