Subsidy: Jonathan Orders EFCC to Prosecute Culprits

Subsidy: Jonathan Orders EFCC to Prosecute Culprits

Weeks of uncertainty over the fate of the report of the Ad Hoc Committee of the House of Representatives that probed the subsidy regime ended yesterday with President Goodluck Jonathan directing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the document and prosecute those against whom the weight of evidence could secure conviction.

He gave the directive while handing the report over to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke.

Briefing journalists on the development, Adoke said Jonathan gave the directive yesterday morning. But it was however not clear last night if the document had reached the anti-graft agency as calls put across to it were not answered.

Adoke told State House correspondents that though the report came in on Monday, he only got it alongside the directive from the president yesterday and that he was promptly sending it to the EFCC for action. He, however, assured Nigerians that only those likely to be convicted based on the weight of evidence against them would be taken to court.

He added that there would neither be sacred cows nor would the Federal Government persecute anybody against whom there was no evidence of wrongdoing.

He further said the report, which revealed that N1.7 trillion was frittered away by dubious importers of fuel would help the EFCC in its investigations and ensure that those who ran foul of the law of the land would be brought to book.

“Very true. I have just gotten the report and I am acting on it immediately. I am forwarding it to the EFCC. When this whole process started, the president gave an assurance to the nation that this report will be implemented to the letter.

“However, in my statement to the nation, I did say we are going to investigate properly to ensure that all loose ends are covered to ensure that there is proper prosecution. We don't want situations where we are stampeded to initiate prosecution and we are unable to prosecute due to lack of, or paucity of evidence.

“Now, we have to ask the EFCC to do a thorough job, as they have been doing, and this report will help them tremendously,” he explained.

Asked what specific directive and when he got it from Jonathan, Adoke replied: “That we should investigate and we should prosecute. I told you I just got the letter this morning but the directive came since yesterday. I have gotten the letter and I am acting on it.”

According to him, “I can assure you we will prosecute all those that are found culpable. There will be no sacred cow. I am with the copy of the report. We are not going to witch-hunt anybody; we are going to do this without sentiments and whoever is found guilty, we are going to arraign him before a court of law and prosecute, and if there is no enough evidence to prosecute anybody, we are not going to persecute anybody.

“So get it clear: we are going to do our job without intimidation and we are going to carry that out in the best interest of the nation."

Adoke would not answer questions on whether the president had received any letter from the National Judicial Council (NJC) recommending a reinstatement of the suspended President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Ayo Salami.

“The matter is subjudice", he said. "I don't comment on matters that are in court.”


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