Anti-Corruption War: No Retreat, No Surrender – Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina has disclosed that the ongoing anti-corruption war in the country is no respecter of persons or relationships as there is no friend or foe in the campaign.

Mr. Femi Adeshina made this disclosure in a chat with online news agency, Premium Times. He further added that the Buhari-led administration will not hesitate to probe members of the All Progressive Party, APC if found connected to corrupt practices.

He said: “On anti-corruption, of course, we know what has been uncovered in this country. I remember in the United Kingdom (UK) about two weeks ago, one foreign media asked the president – did you know it was this bad?

“He confessed that he knew it was bad but he didn’t know it was that bad. It has turned out very, very bad. But it is also something that the government is tackling and the president is determined to leave a saner and cleaner Nigeria in terms of accountability and probity by the way he is going.

“No matter what anybody says about this corruption war, no friend not foe, no retreat, no surrender.”

He further added: “Anybody, irrespective of who he is, if he has questions to answer on corrup­tion, he will have to answer it. I heard people say that it is selective. They need
to prove. He who alleges must also prove. The anti-corruption war is going on and going on very well and it has earned Nigeria a lot of respect in the international community…

“You don’t just go running after people because you want to give the semblance of a balance.

“If there is no allegation against an APC person or if there is no prima facie case,
you don’t just bring them to trial just because you want to create a balance. But, if there is any prima facie case or there is a need for any APC person to be pulled in for question or to be tried, you be sure that that will happen.

“The president has answered that question and the challenge he threw was – give me the evidence against them. You can’t just on the basis of suspicion say this person is corrupt.

“If there is evidence against them, give me the evidence. He said it even in his media chat recently. He said, ‘if you have evidence even against a serving minister, that minister will answer for it.’ That is the president for you.

“Then the second leg of the question is – how many people have been convicted? Unfortunately, the executive does not convict. The executive does not pronounce judgment. There is absolutely nothing the executive can do in a polity where there is separation of powers. There is separation of powers and so the executive cannot convict and it can­ not lean on the judiciary to begin to convict. The onus is on the judiciary to know that it has a role to play if Nigeria will win this anti-corruption war. But, has the war been on course? No doubt, it is on course.”
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