Monday, 8 August 2016

Buhari won’t shield Dogara, others from trial - presidency

As investigation into allegations that Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and four other principal officers injected projects worth N281 billion into the 2016 budget continues, indications have emerged that President Muhammadu Buhari is unwilling to assist the suspects from being prosecuted. This came as it emerged that 262 members of the House have backed the signature drive in solidarity with the speaker.

According to Vanguard, a senior aide of Buhari, who is privy to what transpired at the meeting, said the President did not offer to help the embattled speaker but asked him to cooperate with the probe panel so as to prove his innocence and clear his name.

The aide, who pleaded anonymity, said it was not in the character of the President to interfere with any criminal investigation in line with his anti-corruption posture and would, therefore, not offer any form of assistance to anyone undergoing investigation or trial over graft.

“This is not about Dogara or anyone in particular. This President will not intercede to stop the investigation or trial of anyone,” the presidential aide said.

The refusal of the President to intervene has opened the prospect of a criminal indictment and prosecution should the Modu Ali probe panel establishes sufficient evidence of budget padding against them.