Professor Femi Odekunle a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), laments the turn the Abdulrashid Maina saga has taken, insisting it would give joy to looters.
Yet, he disagrees with the blackmail that unless the former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension, Abdulrashid Maina, embroiled in a multi – billion pension scandal, sees the President, he will not give himself up for trial.
He started that It would be intellectually fraudulent, even for the greatest President Buhari apologist, not to admit that what has happened is scandalous and embarrassing to the anti-corruption fight.
Even though the PACAC has not had scheduled meeting and there has been no call for an emergency meeting, from other members, I feel that we are embarrassed because it is a dent on our efforts and commitment if something like this occurs, especially with respect to the case of the SGF, the case of the NIA DG.
I, for one, have always said it that I’m not a member of any political party, but I’m a believer in President Buhari’s leadership. When this kind of thing is happening in an administration, it’s an embarrassment.
My take on it is that something has to be done to control the damage. Do you still believe in his (Buhari) leadership, looking at the instances of embarrassing conduct?
Would you say he is being diminished or demystified? Yes, to a certain extent you could talk about demystification and being diminished but, at the end of the day, you have to realise that, on the anti-corruption fight, progress is being made because, when you go by the rate of conviction of high profile cases, you can pooh-pooh the fight, but, on daily basis, the other areas of the fight are going on.
It is just that this kind of Abdulrashid Maina issue gives a brush of non-performance or non-effectiveness.
As we speak, nobody has pointed accusing finger at the President or the Vice President that they have been given money or have been part of any scam. People have to realise that what is happening amounts to an attempt to diminish the fight.
In any case, there is still time to control the damage if the needful is done and I believe that the needful would be done. Some people say the fight is a charade. But what part of this Mainagate do you feel most scandalised about?
It’s about all the parts of the saga. One of the things that is worrisome is that we have too much contradictory information but we have no definitive answers to the most pertinent questions from the main actors.
Office of the Head of Service, Ministry of Interior, the Presidency and the Office of the AGF (the Baba of the situation). But let me digress, about once or twice, I have had cause to question the commitment of the Office of the Attorney General to the anti-corruption fight. Secondly, all these actors in the saga, when did they know about it?
What action did they take? At every stage of the saga, from the beginning to the end, what is the volume of the money involved and at what stage can we say it is N10billion or N50billion?
We just have figures being bandied all over the place; that is why I said since President Buhari and the VP have not been fingered and since there is time to do the needful, I think the damage can be controlled promptly and certainly.