Corruption; Jonathan, Obasanjo, IBB, Abdulsalami off- limits for Buhari- Paden

Chidi Samuel

Former Presidents, Ex- Heads of state and some select retired senior military officers has been deemed off limit and beyond the reach of the law in President buhari’s fight against corruption for the sake of the stability of the Country according to excerpts from President Buhari’s authorised biography written by  Prof John Paden.

According to the book, even though the President is for example in possession of some letters, written by former President Goodluck Jonathan, to request “off-budget funds,” no attempt will be made to probe or prosecute him for that.The same treatment also applies to Former Heads of State, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar etc.

The above information is contained in Chapter 20 of the book titled ‘Corruption and law in military procurement’.

Explaining ‘The role of PDP leaders in the diversion of funds’, the author said although the letters, written by the former President, were in Buhari’s possession, the purpose of Buhari’s  war on corruption was not to jail former top government officials but to recover the stolen funds.

According to Paden, the stability of the nation’s political system seemed to be at stake if the EFCC should go after Jonathan or any former President or military leader for that matter. The leaders, could however, trade their knowledge for immunity and help the government identify patterns and sources of corruption.

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The author stated, “The fact that Buhari was enlisting the help of international community in the probes lent weight to the seriousness of his effort – and also meant that alleged offenders had nowhere to hide.

“Would the trail lead to former President Jonathan himself? As of the early months of 2016, it appeared that the EFCC was not going after Jonathan. Nor was it going after former President Obasanjo.

“The question of the stability of the entire political system seemed at stake.

“In addition, a number of senior military officers, who had served as Heads of State – from Babangida to Abubakar – seemed off-limits.

“Indeed, rumours swirled that if the probes went after senior officers, they might push back because they had extensive networks in the active military services.

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“At the same time, the knowledge such heavyweights possessed could well be traded for immunity and would help to illuminate the patterns and sources of corruption.

“Buhari had letters in his possession showing Jonathan’s requests for off-budget funds. But Buhari’s larger purpose was not to put former high-level officials in jail.

“Rather, it was to retrieve stolen funds and to change the political culture of the country.”