The Peoples Democratic Party has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to launch a probe into how the party and the former opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, funded their presidential campaigns before the 2015 general elections.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, on Sunday, the PDP believed that the probe of the presidential campaign funding should unearth how much the APC-controlled states contributed to the funding of the campaign that brought Buhari to power.
Metuh’s statement was in reaction to the ongoing probe of the procurement of weapons for the Armed Forces during the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan and the number of PDP bigwigs that had been arrested in connection with the $2.1bn alleged arm scam.
The party, however, called on the Buhari administration to begin the prosecution of those who had been found culpable of corrupt practices, adding that as a party, the PDP would not support corrupt practices under any guise.
Metuh said the allegation that people were made ministers just to cover up alleged slush funds that they provided for the APC presidential campaign must also be probed.
He challenged the Federal Government to set up a National Truth Commission, wherein politicians and other Nigerians would publicly discuss the true meaning of corrupt practices in the land.
Specific areas to be probed, according to Metuh, are, “The source of funding of the PDP and APC’s 2015 presidential campaigns; the contributions from APC-controlled state governors for their presidential campaign and the beneficiaries thereof.
“The allegation that people were made ministers just to cover up the slush fund that they provided to finance the APC presidential campaign.
“In the light of the way and manner of this government’s selective prosecution of the war against corruption, the PDP challenges the government to set up a National Truth Commission, wherein politicians and other Nigerians will publicly discuss the true meaning of corrupt practices in our land.
“This commission will also provide a platform for a proper public inquisition into the mind-boggling wealth of some Nigerians in public office.”
In distancing itself from those who might have allegedly corruptly enriched themselves, the opposition party called on the government to prosecute even those who might have secretly retuned their stolen money.
Metuh added, “The leadership of the PDP reiterates its support for an honest, holistic and total war against corruption and we demand the trial and prosecution of all those involved, including those who might have returned their ‘loots’ to the government.
“However, we are completely against any one-sided public trial and mob conviction of accused persons without following the age-long and worldwide legal process, wherein all accused persons are presumed innocent until the contrary is lawfully proved.
“We do not believe that mere investigation confers a guilt verdict on those concerned and the government should stop the brutal mob and public conviction of individuals and the transfer of the burden of proof of people being investigated.
“We restate for emphasis that a media and public war against corruption is good, but it should not be limited to only those opposed to the President and the ruling party.
“In fact, until top officials of the former government open up on the exact source of the funding, it remains premature to be accusing our party members of corrupt practices.”
Metuh said if the government’s investigation should include the expenditure of Jonathan’s security votes from 2011, the government’s probe should be extended to the inquisition of other past leaders.
The PDP demanded that the investigation should cover the security votes of all past Presidents and Heads of State from 1984 and the award of contracts by the Petroleum Trust Fund from 1995 to 1999.
Other areas Metuh listed are the expenditure of military purchases and expenditure during the Bakassi wars, the fight against militancy in the Niger Delta, military interventions in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Somalia and Rwanda among others.
“Nevertheless, if indeed President Muhammadu Buhari, in anyway whatsoever, desires to probe his opponent in the presidential election, he should come out straight instead of going round in circles,” he added.