In an exclusive interview with Punch Newspapers, former acting chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, says his party is in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti corruption campaign, but due process and rule of law must be followed.
Below are excerpts from the chat;
Many members of your party are being investigated by the EFCC for alleged corrupt practices. Would you say the rule of law is being adhered to or is it a witch-hunt?
There is absolute absence of the rule of law in the pursuit of this anti-corruption crusade. We in the PDP are in total support of the anti-corruption fight but we believe that due process and the rule of law are not being followed. We are not in a garrison command structure, a person can be invited or arrested if he resists but the rule of law must be followed. The EFCC cannot constitute itself to be the judge, jury and turn itself into a court and become a law onto itself. Virtually all we have seen in the past one year is that even before they go to court, the EFCC has already condemned the accused persons. This is wrong in the eyes of the law. Allow the courts to make the pronouncement; it is not for the EFCC to make the announcement. We believe that there is complete absence of the rule of law and that the government is carrying out its prosecution based on a one-sided agenda. We know there are ex-governors who are ministers now, why are they not probing them? Why are they not inviting them? It is absolutely wrong. It has to be holistic. If you say you want to clean up the mess go ahead and do it but it has to be everybody that was there. There are some former governors who were in the PDP before but are now in the APC as senators and ministers. They have become untouchable. Is that how to fight corruption? The partiality is obvious now, and Nigerians know; the world now knows that the agenda of this government is to kill the PDP.
The APC through its National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, had challenged any of you who have evidence against any of its members to present same to the EFCC. Why have you not done so?
I can tell you that many states including Ekiti and Rivers have written several petitions against these persons and nothing has happened. I can tell you that nothing has happened. Who is fooling whom?
Critics of your party have said the PDP is so comfortable with corruption that it has no interest in the anti-corruption fight. How do you respond?
This is wrong, absolutely wrong. Let me ask this question, if the PDP had no interest in fighting corruption would we had set up the EFCC, ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices Commission) and all other institutions? All these institutions were set up by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo who headed a PDP-led government. We established these institutions with good intentions. The PDP as a party has not done anything to undermine the anti-graft war even in the face of glaring provocations. As many as this government wants to go after let it go ahead, all we are saying is that the rule of law must be followed. The truth will prevail; some may be found guilty, others will not be found so. But it (anti-corruption war) has to cover those who were in the PDP before and are now in the APC and also those who were APC governors; that is the issue.
Click here to read the full interview on Punch.