At least eight out of the many Politicians working for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari, in 2019, have pending corruption cases against them, a latest investigation has shown.
The investigation showed that the amount involved in the various graft cases, which are currently pending before Security Agencies, especially the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, range from N223 million to N100 billion, for each of the Politician.
Some of the eight Politicians, who used to be members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and other opposition parties, had allegedly defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to stop the dangling axe of the EFCC and other Security Agencies, from falling on them.
Specifically, the Politicians who are currently either under probe or prosecution, for allegedly diverting government funds, have separately vowed to ensure that Buhari remains in power, until 2023.
The eight Politicians include: the Senator representing Nasarawa West at the National Assembly, Abdullahi Adamu; the Senator representing Sokoto North and former Governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko; ex-Senate Minority Leader and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, who recently defected from the PDP to the APC; and a former Governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu.
Others are: the immediate past Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; the former Governor of Rivers State and Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, in 2015, Rotimi Amaechi; the Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari; and former National Chairman of the PDP, Ali Modu-Sheriff.
Adamu, a serving Senator and former Governor of Nasarawa State, is one of the President’s close Allies in the Senate. He is also a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Buhari 2019 Presidential Support Committee.
The Lawmaker is being prosecuted alongside 18 others, for allegedly stealing N15 billion from the State treasury, through contracts awarded when he was Governor for eight years.
Senator Aliyu Wamakko is in charge of Buhari’s campaign in Sokoto State. A few weeks ago, he held a massive rally on behalf of Buhari, in order to prove to the President that Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s defection, would be of no effect in the State.
Wamakko, who served as Governor from 2007 to 2015, is under investigation over allegations of theft of public funds and money laundering, totalling N15 billion, an allegation he has vehemently denied.
The Spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, had confirmed in April, that the Commission was investigating allegations contained in a petition against Wammako, and that he would soon be invited to defend the allegations.
The former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, has been under probe by the EFCC for over three years, based on allegations that he diverted over N100 billion from the coffers of the State, between 2007 and 2015.
Akpabio was welcomed into the APC by the President himself.
The former Governor, who represents Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District in the 8th Senate, recently vowed that the APC would take over Akwa Ibom State, the way Adolph Hitler invaded Poland.
Akpabio, who on Friday travelled to China with the President, is arguably the closest defector to Buhari, and has vowed to do everything possible to ensure Buhari is re-elected, come 2019.
Although he has been grilled by the EFCC, he has not been charged.
Orji Uzor Kalu
Kalu, who governed Abia State from 1999 to 2007, was one of the most influential Politicians in the South-East during his time in government. After leaving the PDP, he formed the Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA, from where he contested and lost a Senatorial election, in 2015.
The following year, he defected to the APC, and has paid several visits to the President since then.
Recently, he visited the President in his hometown of Daura, Katsina State, where he was bestowed with the title, ‘Dan Baiwan Hausa’, by the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Farouq.
According to the Emir, Kalu was bestowed with the title in appreciation of his “unwavering support for our son, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, Bayajida II.”
The EFCC, had alleged that Kalu and the others, committed fraud, between August 2001 and October 2005. It accused Kalu of utilising his company (Slok Nigeria Limited) to retain in the account of First Inland Bank, now First City Monument Bank, the sum of N200 million.
The Commission, stated that the sum formed part of funds illegally derived from the coffers of the Abia State Government. The EFCC also said that the accused retained in different bank accounts, about N2.5 billion, belonging to the State Government, adding that, he diverted about N3.2 billion from the coffers of the same government.
Regardless of his travails, the former Governor has insisted that he will do all within his power, to ensure that Buhari is re-elected, in 2019.
The immediate past Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, was accused by the Senate ad hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North-East, led by Senator Shehu Sani, of awarding a N223 million consultancy contract for the removal of invasive plant species in Komadugu, Yobe Water Channels, to his company, Rholavision Engineering, in contravention of section 43 (iii) and (iv) of the Public Procurement Act 2007.
A Committee headed by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, subsequently investigated Lawal and recommended his dismissal, in October 2017, a year after he was indicted by the Senate.
Although, he is under probe by the EFCC, Babachir is among the key figures running Buhari’s re-election campaign in Adamawa State. He also revealed during a recent interview on Channels Television, that he still has direct access to the President, a revelation which shocked many Nigerians.
Amaechi, who was the Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, in 2015, has been charged with the task of ensuring that Buhari is elected a second time.
The Minister of Transportation, who is the face of the Buhari Campaign, was indicted by the Justice George Omeregi-led Rivers State Judicial Commission of Inquiry, set up to investigate the sale of State assets in Rivers State.
He and others were accused of allegedly misappropriating N97 billion, through the sale of the State valued assets.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, had also alleged that $150 million was spent on Buhari’s Campaign, in 2015.
Nonetheless, Amaechi challenged his indictment, but lost at the Court of Appeal.
Although anti-graft agencies have refused to state if he is under investigation or not, he is yet to clear his name, and is still under investigation by the State Government.
Yari has been engaged in a fierce battle with the EFCC, for over a year, following allegations that he diverted nearly N700 million, which formed part of the Paris Club refund, due to his State.
In July last year, a Federal High Court in Abuja, ordered an interim forfeiture of the sums of N500 million and $500,000, said to have been looted from the Paris Club refund made by the Federal Government, in favour of the 36 States of the Federation.
The sums of money said to have been recovered from two firms, First Generation Mortgage Bank Limited, and Gosh Projects Limited, were allegedly linked to the Governor.
The EFCC, also alleged in an affidavit filed in support of its exparte application seeking the interim forfeiture of the sums of money, that the N500 million was diverted to offset Yari’s personal loan, obtained from First Generation Mortgage Bank Limited.
In July, the Presidential Support Committee of Buhari 2019, appointed Sheriff as its Director-General.
The National Secretary of the group, Kassim Kassim, said in a statement, that the conglomerate of about 300 Buhari supporters’ groups, unanimously endorsed Sheriff to lead the Presidential Support Committee, Buhari 2019, and not the Buhari Campaign Organisation for the 2019 election.
He stated that groups that made up the Presidential Support Committee, were all registered with the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Political Matters.
However, Sheriff and others, are under investigation for allegedly receiving N450 million, out of the N23 billion bribe, allegedly disbursed by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, during the build-up to the 2015 elections.
He has been grilled several times by the EFCC, but was never charged. His private jet was also impounded by the Commission, but later released to him.