From Victor Seyi, Ilorin
Chairmen of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the North Central states have cautioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to guard its operations against manipulation by desperate politicians who might want to use it to settle political
The party chairmen who expressed their commitment to the anti-corruption war, however said the EFCC should guard against being used by politicians with inordinate ambition.
This warning was contain in a statement signed by Mr Haddi Ameto(Kogi), Alhaji Mohammed Jibril Adamu(Niger), Alhaji Usman Abdukmalik(FCT), Alhaji Ishola Balogun-Fulani (Kwara) and Mr Letep Dabang (Plateau).
The APC chairmen said the warning became imperative because of the invitation of the wife of Senate President, Barrister Toyin Saraki, by the EFCC and surrounding political issues.
They added: “To say the least, this invitation is curious, the timing is suspicious and it raises more questions than answers. We are worried that an APC Chieftain, Senator Joseph Waku, has alleged that a chieftain of our party in the South West was the mastermind of a baseless petition over which Mrs Saraki has been invited by the EFCC.
“We are also disturbed by the allegation that the same APC chieftain has promised to help secure a second term for the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, if Mrs Saraki is satisfactorily persecuted.
“This is unacceptable and these allegations suggest that some APC chieftains have cut deals with the EFCC to punish perceived political adversaries.
“Mrs Saraki has left Kwara State Government House with her husband since 2011, why did the EFCC choose to invite her for questioning on the 28th of July, 2015? The same day the National Assembly is scheduled to reconvene from recess. It is difficult to believe that this is a mere coincidence because some senators have vowed to bring the Senate President down by all means.
“We are particularly concerned about this political persecution because Mrs Toyin Saraki has never been actively involved in politics. Not even when her husband, Senate President Bukola Saraki, was Governor of Kwara State between 2003 and 2011.
“But in the 2015 general elections, she left the comfort of her private home to tirelessly mobilise women in the North Central region to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari in her capacity as the team leader of North Central in the Women Presidential Campaign Council.
”We reiterate the commitment of our party, the APC, for zero tolerance to corruption and wholeheartedly support the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari to curb and kill corruption in Nigeria. We also urge the EFCC to perform its duties lawfully and professionally.
“However, the EFCC must be warned about the dire consequences of allowing desperate politicians to manipulate its operations to bring down perceived enemies”.