Buhari Integrity is at stack
Even before the Maina scandal, Buhari was facing criticism for allegedly sitting on a report into claims of graft by Nigeria’s top civil servant and the intelligence agency chief.
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The report, into an alleged kickback scheme involving aid money for victims of Boko Haram and the discovery of $43 million in cash at a Lagos apartment, was submitted in August.
Debo Adeniran, from the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership lobby group, said the Maina case was “a big embarrassment and shame to Nigeria”.
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“It shows that there are people in Buhari’s administration that are not committed to his ideals concerning the anti-corruption war,” he said.
“By recalling Maina to the civil service after being implicated in a pension scam, this regime has put a big question mark on the president’s integrity.
“Buhari’s much-publicised anti-corruption credentials have been tainted. It shows that he is the only one who believes in the crusade.”
It has long been suspected that not everyone in government shared Buhari’s anti-corruption zeal but leading lawyer Femi Falana said the situation could still be salvaged.
Maina should be located, charged and put on trial alongside anyone who helped him, he said.
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“Those who recalled and promoted the fugitive ought to be sanctioned by President Buhari to serve as a deterrent to others who may wish to sabotage the war against corruption.”
But while Buhari should be given credit for ordering an investigation, “follow-up action” was essential to show the public how serious his government is about tackling the issue
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