The All Progressives Congress has fired back at the Peoples Democratic Party over its claim that President Muhammadu Buhari destroyed the independence of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission.
The PDP had claimed that the EFCC and ICPC were created during its 16-year reign to curb the menace of corruption in the country but the APC destroyed when it came to power.
Reacting, however, the Special Assistant to the President on Prosecutions, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, slammed the PDP for saying that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration destroyed the independence of the anti-graft agencies.
He said contrary to the opposition party’s claim, the EFCC had become more efficient under the current administration.
He insisted that the independence of the EFCC was completely eroded under the PDP government to the extent that the anti-corruption agency was unable to charge any politically-exposed person under former President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Obono-Obla described the PDP government as “chronically and scandalously corrupt” to the extent that “a minister was able to steal the equivalent of the allocation of 19 northern states in four years.”
He explained that neither Buhari nor those connected to the President interfered with the activities of the anti-graft agencies.
Obono-Obla added, “The claim by PDP is nonsensical. It is hogwash and balderdash.
“The PDP does not have any argument because since the APC government came on board, the EFCC has become so efficient.
“In the first quarter of this year, the EFCC secured more than 200 convictions and recovered over N400bn.
“How much was recovered by the EFCC when the PDP was in government or when Goodluck Jonathan was in office?
“The independence of the EFCC was completely eroded to the extent that no politically-exposed person was charged to court. But we can see that they have charged very prominent, highly influential and highly connected politically-exposed persons, which is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria. So, the PDP does not know what it’s talking about.
“Talk about the ICPC, it has recovered billions of naira. The ICPC has also secured the conviction of many politically-exposed persons.
“The PDP should shut up. The PDP was chronically and scandalously corrupt to the extent that one minister stole the equivalent of the allocations of 19 northern states in four years.
“Up to $20bn was unaccounted for. The foreign reserves were deflated. The late President (Umaru) Yar’Adua left $48bn in the foreign reserves; all the money was deflated.
“So what is the PDP talking about? We don’t interfere, the President does not interfere and the people connected to the President do not interfere with EFCC’s activities, unlike when the agency ceased to function under the PDP government.”