Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL has expressed shock over the newspaper report on the arraignment in court by the EFCC of Senator Goje Danjuma and others.
This came on the heels of a media report on PUNCH newspaper of November 3, 2015, of a serving senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and former state governor who was arraigned on charges of money laundering and embezzlement.
Reacting to the news, the Executive Chairman of CACOL, Comrade Debo Adeniran said the charges couldn’t have come as a big deal; after all, we have lived with the likes for years now. It’s in fact becoming a fashion, sort of. That most of our past and serving state governors and federal law-makers are having one case of official corruption or the other, is no longer controvertible. What is however unusual about Goje’s trial is the shocking submission of one of the prosecution witnesses in person of Mr. Shehu Atiku, the former Clerk of the Gombe State House of Assembly who served during Goje’s tenure as governor of the state, in which he was quoted as stating that Goje, as governor then, forged a resolution of the state house of assembly, as having approved his (Goje’s) request to obtain a bank loan of N5bn from Access Bank plc – two crimes in one, you want to say – forgery and criminal misrepresentation, with intent to defraud.
CACOL finds this rather strange dimension to corruption very shocking. A former chief accounting officer and head of government of a state and a serving senior law-maker, allegedly perpetrating such a heinous crime of such magnitude – a criminal misrepresentation of his state’s house of assembly through an act of forgery as well as obtaining money under false pretences, in clear contravention of Section 419 of our criminal code, by presenting to the bank a forged document. For crying out aloud, here we are talking about a governor; the number one citizen of the state! By the way, where is morals; where is integrity; where is value and for goodness sake, where is virtue?
Speaking further, the anti-corruption activist said the revelation should send shocking waves through the spine of any patriotic citizen of our dear country. If this report is found to be true, then Nigerians should be worried and even disturbed by the horrifying level that corruption is assuming in our land. It, naturally, must be embarrassing that someone in the person of a state governor or senator would present a document for whatever purpose, and the recipient would first begin to seek the verification or authenticity of such document before admitting it. What a national shame and embarrassment.
“With this kind of revelations about some of our leaders, why should we be protesting any disrespectful, dishonorable and sometimes dehumanizing treatment being meted out to the average Nigerian tourist in foreign lands?”
The Coalition however wants to take solace in the present Buhari-led government’s consistency in its drive at wrestling corruption to submission. We are happy to see the EFCC now waking up to its responsibility and hoping that the judicial arm of the government will give the commission the necessary cooperation it requires in its quest to rid our nation of this scourge.
“This is one case that must not be allowed to go the usual way of undue protraction through unending adjournments by the courts. That the resolution of a hallowed chamber of the legislature of a state was forged by a sitting governor of the same state to defraud a bank is, by any measure, a mind boggling height of executive lawlessness and criminality. Justice delayed, they say, is justice denied. Nigerians can no longer afford to have criminals governing us or making laws for us. President Buhari has consistently promised us a change; let’s begin from here.” Adeniran concluded.