Corruption: Defecting to APC does not free any politician from trial - Lai Mohammed

Corruption: Defecting to APC does not free any politician from trial - Lai Mohammed

- Alhaji Lai Mohammed declares that the federal government will not spare any corrupt politician even if such a person defects

- Mohammed, the information minister, says with the conviction of a member of the APC and former governor, the government has shown it does not condone corruption

- The minister also speaks on Saraki's defection and the politics behind it

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the information minister, has declared that the federal government will not stop the corruption trial of those who defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Mohammed was quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as saying that defections to any political party would not make the government stop its prosecution of politicians suspected to be corrupt.

The minister said this on Monday, August 6, when he paid an official visit to the Abuja office of The Authority Newspaper.

The report said while fielding questions from members of the editorial board of the paper, the minister said that defection, even to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would not immune politicians who had looted the nation’s economy from being prosecuted.

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“Nigerians should be rest assured that the fact that some persons are moving from one party to another does not mean that they will escape prosecution.

“Nobody will escape investigation and prosecution on the ground that he or she has moved to APC.

“We have shown that with a former governor and a member of our party that was convicted, we will never terminate anybody’s prosecution on the ground of decamping.

“However, it is not for the executive to do the work of the judiciary,” he said.

Mohammed, however, said that many of the defections being witnessed were not premised on the allegation of escaping justice.

He said some defected for “political calculation and personal reasons."

The minister also reiterated that the ruling APC was not perturbed by the gale of defection, especially by members of the National Assembly.

“We did not just start noticing this, the foundation for it was laid the day Dr Bukola Saraki became the Senate president.

“In every part of the world, when a party has the majority in parliament, the party decides who is going to be the leader of the parliament.

“This is a case where the party was still waiting for the president to resolve the issue when Saraki, from the back door, emerged as Senate president.

“From then, we have known, because his emergence was illegal and against the wish of the party,” he said.

Mohammed said that to make the matter worse, Saraki made a deal with the opposition PDP, by conceding the deputy Senate president’s position.

“In the last two years, the National Assembly has been behaving as if the opposition is in control. We have a Senate president that is so hostile to the government.

“For three years, budgets are passed only in June. As I speak today, there has been no disbursement on capital project in 2018 budget.

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“Critical appointments are also being delayed and the government is being blackmailed every day.

“I have never seen in history, where a leader of parliament will announce the defection of 15 members from his party.

“The proper thing is, if you are loyal to your party, you put stumbling blocks on such defection,” he said.

The minister maintained that Kwara remained solidly behind APC and Buhari despite the mass defection from the state. earlier reported that the senator representing Borno south, Ali Ndume, took a swipe at some of his colleagues who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

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