A presidential aide, Garba Shehu, dismisses claims that President Buhari’s association with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has diminished the president’s commitment to the war against corruption
Shehu says Ganduje is entitled to the provisions of the Nigerian laws which stipulate that an accused remained innocent until proven guilty by the courts
The presidential aide says it is sheer mischief to suggest that Buhari is shielding anybody from probe because of their closeness to him
The presidency has said that Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state cannot be prosecuted for alleged bribes because he enjoys immunity from prosecution as a sitting governor.
Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant on media and publicity to the president made the statement on Thursday, January 31, when dismissing claims that President Buhari’s association with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje had diminished the president’s commitment to the war against corruption.
The presidential aide noted that Ganduje was entitled to the provisions of the Nigerian laws which stipulate that an accused remained innocent until proven guilty by the courts.
The Shehu further stated that the issue of Ganduje’s alleged bribe was already in a law court and that the president had no power to dictate to the court or the Kano state House of Assembly, which is already investigating the matter, what to do with the allegations against Ganduje.
He said it is sheer mischief to suggest that President Buhari is shielding anybody because of their closeness to him, explaining that no official under this administration would go unpunished once they break the law.
He said some top officials such as the executive secretary of the national health insurance scheme, Prof Usman Yusuf, is currently on administrative leave as part of Buhari's commitment to transparency and accountability.
Shehu explained that despite some of the suspects being close to the president, he had not shielded them from investigation, administrative suspensions and prosecution.
The presidential aide said it is unfair to ignore the president's major successes in the war against corruption, including blocking leakages of corruption, which in turn, boosted government revenues.
Garba Shehu challenged Buhari's critics to prove that those facing corruption allegations are innocent, adding Nigeria's image in the eyes of world leaders had been boosted by the president's zero tolerance for corruption.
Meanwhile, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)'s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday, January 30, said he would consider granting amnesty to corrupt persons willing to surrender their loot.
Atiku said this while fielding questions alongside his running mate, Peter Obi, on a live programme hosted by journalist, Kadaria Ahmed.
The PDP presidential candidate said he would consider drawing a line during which corrupt former public officials would be allowed to return their loot without prosecution after which strong policies would be put in place to prevent and fight corruption.
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