The Presidency on Saturday has reacted to attacks by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on President Muhammadu Buhari for endorsing Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
Following the endorsement at the Presidential Villa, the PDP had condemned Buhari for backing a candidate that his administration is probing for corruption.
Reacting in a statement on Saturday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, called on the PDP to sack its governors and senators before it would be taken seriously.
“Let PDP first withdraw the governorship nominations it gave to Ahmadu Fintiri and Bala Mohammed of Adamawa and Bauchi States respectively, before it opens its mouth and talk on the efforts of this administration in fighting corruption. Or else, it should shut its mouth forever and leave us to do what it dares not attempt.
“Both PDP governors were actually on bail from criminal trial on several counts of fraud and embezzlement.
“Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, July 1, 2016 granted bail to the former acting governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri. He was charged on June 30, 2016 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside his company, Mayim Construction and Properties Limited on a five-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N2.9 billion.
“In the case of Bala Mohammed, the PDP Governor of Bauchi State, the EFCC, on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, arraigned the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, before Justice A. M. Talba of the Federal Capital Territory, High Court sitting in Gudu, Abuja, on a six-count charge bordering on abuse of office, false declaration of assets and fraud to the tune of N864 million.
“Bala, while in office as minister, allegedly received N550 million as bribe from Aso Savings and Loans Limited with respect to some properties in the Asokoro area of Abuja.
“He is said to have corruptly abused his position as Board Chairman of Aso Savings by allocating four numbers fully detached duplexes and 11 numbers semi-detached duplexes valued at N314 million through the Presidential Taskforce on Sale of Government Houses, to himself.
“The former minister is also accused of making false declaration of his assets,” Shehu noted.
The presidential spokesperson stated that Ize-Iyamu is being prosecuted by the EFCC alongside Lucky Imasuen, former deputy governor of Edo State, Dan Orbih, former PDP Chairman in Edo State and other leaders of the party in the state, Tony Aziegbemi and Efe Erimuoghae.
Buhari’s aide added that the PDP has no moral authority to criticize the accelerated infrastructure development drive, largely drawing its energy from the Buhari anti-corruption campaign.
“A government that sees corruption in the past administration and sees corruption in its own administration, and fights it with equal gusto, cannot be placed on the same scale with those who, by their words and deeds said corruption is a way of life and Nigerians should learn to live with it.
“This clean-up drive by the President Buhari administration will only speed up with the ongoing investigations and trials,” he added.
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