The announcement by the Federal Government of Nigeria about her readiness to look into history’s books and revisit cases of past governors associated with corruption allegations excites the public.
In the list is former Delta state governor, James Ibori, who is currently serving his jail term in the United Kingdom, as suggested in the correspondence sent by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
30 other ex-governors will also be quizzed and likely prosecuted if found guilty – 5 from the South-East, 3 from the South-West, 3 from the South-South, while the other ex-governors from other geopolitical zones are not yet specified.
The Minister of Justice through the letter directed that ICPC should forward the case files of all former governors that are standing trial for corruption. It reads in part: “It is clear that some of these governors and other politically-exposed persons have not been charged to court despite the fact that the ICPC has concluded their investigations concerning allegations leveled against them for one reason or the other.
“It is the position of the present administration that all ex-governors that the ICPC had long concluded investigations into the various allegations leveled against them should be immediately prosecuted.”
The letter from the AGF’s office also bequeathed the right to investigate cases “involving alleged misconduct amounting to economic sabotage; involving complex financial transactions or property movement; involving any of the suspects, who is a politician, a public officer or judicial officer; and where the subject matter involves government or corruption of its official or involves the abuse of office.”
Most of the former governors to be grilled served between 1999 and 2015 in one or two terms, and presently belong to one of Nigeria’s two major parties- All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
A 14-day ultimatum was given to the Chairman of the anti-graft agency to “remit the duplicate case files concerning the politically-exposed persons investigated by the ICPC over the years”
Though the release does not name the political figures involved, some of them are now serving senators, a few others are currently undergoing trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
– Seyifunmi Adebote for encomium.ng