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Buhari’s endorsement of Ize-Iyamu is a ‘dent on anti-corruption war’

Buhari’s endorsement of Ize-Iyamu is a ‘dent on anti-corruption war’
August 07
18:24 2020

Chris Nehikhare, a spokesman for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign council in Edo state, has described the endorsement of Osagie Ize-Iyamu by President Muhammadu Buhari as a dent on the anti-graft war.

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Buhari handed over the flag of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to Ize-Iyamu, the party’s candidate for the Edo gubernatorial election, at the presidential villa earlier on Friday.

The president, who wished Ize-Iyamu all the best in the election, asked leaders of the APC to avoid the mistakes which cost the party victory in Bayelsa and Zamfara states.

The supreme court had voided the elections of APC in both states, declaring the PDP as winners.

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In a statement on Friday, Nehikhare wondered why Buhari pitched his tent with a man the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is trying over alleged N700 million fraud.

“Our attention has been drawn to the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Edo State gubernatorial election, Osagie Ize-Iyamu,” he said.

“This meeting is ill-advised and a dent on the image of President Buhari, whose administration is known for the spirited fight against the hydra-headed monster called corruption, which has encumbered the development of our dear country for decades.

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“Unknown to President Buhari and his advisers, the APC gubernatorial candidate is desperately in need of an endorsement from someone like the President, to shore up his battered image in Edo State and the larger court of public opinion that have followed Ize-Iyamu’s trial very closely.

“Ize-Iyamu is currently being tried for money laundering to the tune of N700 million. The matter is before Honourable Justice J. M. Umar at the Federal High Court in Benin City, Edo State, with suit No. FHC/BE21C/ 2016.

“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) filed the case preferring eight count charges against him and four other accused persons bordering on alleged illegal receipt of public funds to the tune of N700 million for the purpose of the 2015 general elections, contrary to the provisions of the EFCC Act and the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act. His next court date is October 15th.

“It is our considered view that associating with a man with this corruption baggage (alleged) compromises the integrity of the President’s fight against corruption and sends mixed signals to Nigerians, home and abroad as well as other nationals who have invested enormous faith in the President’s fight against corruption.

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“The Nigeria we envisage under Buhari’s watch is one in which people like Ize-Iyamu, will be told in clear terms, to go and clear their names, before being seen with, or around the occupier of the exalted office of the president.”

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