President Muhammadu Buhari will not extend his corruption probe beyond the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, the presidency has said. Mr. Buhari, who is currently on official visit to the United States, has consistently vowed to investigate and bring to book, persons who looted the country’s funds.
The president said on Tuesday he will arrest and prosecute past ministers and other officials who stole Nigeria’s oil and diverted government’s money to personal accounts.But the Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs to Mr. Buhari, Femi Adesina, said the president will limit his anti-corruption war to the immediate past administration in the country.
He said Mr. Buhari will not waste time in probing the administrations of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Abdulsalam Abubakar, Sani Abacha and Ibrahim Babangida. He said even before he was sworn in to office on May 29, the president had categorically stated that he would not extend his corruption probe beyond the Jonathan government.
“If you recall, that was already settled before he got inaugurated as president. He has said he will not waste time digging into the far past,” Mr. Adesina said.
“The far past will includes Obasanjo and others. But the president has said he will not waste time to go that far.”
Before leaving office, Mr. Jonathan had said any probe by the new government would be seen as a “witch hunt” if it fails to go beyond his administration. Speaking on criticisms over President Buhari’s decision to travel to the U.S. with his son, Yusuf, the presidential spokesperson said Mr. Buhari did not breach any rule. He said it was a normal practice for presidents to travel with members of their families, citing the example of American presidents who travel abroad with their wives and children.
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with the president travelling with one of his sons. It is an acceptable and standard practice. He could go with up to four members of his family.
“Don’t forget that when former President Bill Clinton visited Nigeria while he was in office, he came with his daughter, Chelsea.
“President Barak Obama travels with his children and so the President of Nigeria can travel out with three or four of his children. Late President Umaru Yar’Adua used to travel with two of his sons and one of his grandchildren,” he said.
Mr. Adesina described the outcome of the president’s official visit to the US as “a roaring success on every side.”
“There are good returns. It is an investment that will yield very handsome returns.”