A civil society group, the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has stated that it is hypocritical for former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, to label any government, institutions, agencies, individuals as corrupt in view of the unresolved and lingering suspected acts of corruption perpetrated by the former leader.
Obasanjo had while delivering a public lecture on Wednesday, stated that the “National Assembly stinks and stinks to high heavens. It needs to be purged,” adding that the parliament operates a cabal “worse than any cabal that anybody may find anywhere in our national governance system at any time.”
The House of Representatives responded yesterday by stating that Obasanjo has no moral authority to talk about corruption, accusing him of being the grandfather of corruption in the country, who introduced corruption to the National Assembly on its first day in 1999.
But CACOL, in a statement issued by its Media Coordinator, Wale Salami, alleged that both the former president and the lawmakers are culpable in the scourge of corruption that is plaguing the country, adding that the legislators have by their statement admitted being corrupt grandchildren of a corrupt grandfather.
The CACOL Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, was quoted as saying: “to put it aptly, former President, Olusegun Obasanjo’s anti-corruption stance is pure hypocrisy and akin to ‘the kettle, calling the pot black’. We can say this even at the risk of sounding ‘supportive’ of the gluttonous legislators who have frankly admitted as reported in the media to being ‘corrupt grandchildren of a corrupt grandfather’; both sides of the divide are indeed culpable in the infestation of corruption in the fabrics of our society. They are two sides of the same coin, actually!”
“We recall how all efforts to get Obasanjo to answer to allegations of corrupt practices over the Halliburton and Siemens Scandal against him were met with consciously and tactically placed obstacles that have shielded the former President from judicial and public scrutiny of his roles in the saga till date.”
Disclosing what CACOL had done in the past on Obasanjo and his suspected corruption cases, Adeniran said, “our coalition submitted a petition against former President, General Olusegun Obasanjo (Rtd) to the EFCC on November 14th, 2007 at the Lagos Zonal Office on offences bordering on alleged conspiracy, fraudulent conversion of funds and abuse of office, foreign exchange malpractice and money laundering.”
“Following the submission and defense of our petition, an investigative panel was set up to look into the issues raised by our Coalition. Till date, we are still tracking the case and have even written to the EFCC as recently as May, this year for updates, but nothing is forthcoming.”
“We found it worrisome; indeed, when we discovered that a report on our petition that the EFCC had not officially released found its way into General Obasanjo’s Book titled ‘My Watch’, in which the former President published a purported report of the investigation panel (page 431 – 465). We had wondered why it was only the former President that appeared to have seen the report while the other stakeholders and the populace remain in the dark and groping. The experience definitely speaks volumes on why some apparently corrupt elements in our midst remain ‘powerful’, ‘untouchable’ and very well ‘above the law’ in spite of the fact that, constitutional footing/s for such status does not exist!”
The CACOL Executive Chairman continued, “Were it not against this sort of background, Obasanjo and his ‘grandchildren’ in the legislature ought to bury the heads in shame. A morally upright person would be more comfortable with clearing his name of the corruption allegations against him before pointing fingers. Four fingers are pointing right back at Obasanjo in whichever direction he points a finger to, in the decadence that presently obtains, for being profoundly suspect in the Nigerian situation almost on all plains.
“The ongoing banters are insensitive and insulting to the people’s sensibilities. For the umpteenth time we call on the Attorney General of the Federation, the EFCC and other agencies to re-open the Halliburton and Siemens scandal case promptly, a case that has remained unresolved till date.”