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Obasanjo: Corruption Allegations Against IBB Unsubstantiated

Posted by From Jide Oritunsin in Minna with agency reports on 2005/07/07 | Views: 331 |

Obasanjo: Corruption Allegations Against IBB Unsubstantiated


President Olusegun Oba-sanjo has described corruption allegations against former military leader, Gen. Ibrahim Baban-gida, as unsubstantiated coffee shops rumours.

* 2003 polls marred by irregularities, says Babangida

President Olusegun Oba-sanjo has described corruption allegations against former military leader, Gen. Ibrahim Baban-gida, as unsubstantiated coffee shops rumours.

But in Minna, Babangida at a two-day public hearing on the Electoral Bill 2005 said the 2003 elections were fraught with irregularities.

Confronted in London with questions concerning Baban-gida's political future and the misdeeds of his administration, Obasanjo said nobody has come out to substantiate allegations of wrong doings against the former military leader.

At an interactive session with members ofAfrican All Party Parliamentary Group at the House of Commons in London late Tuesday, British lawmakers wanted to know "if Babangida is still alive and whether he plans to succeed Obasanjo in 2007."

They also wanted to know what measures Obasanjo had taken concerning allegations of financial impropriety and wrongdoings made against Babangida's administration.

Responding, Obasanjo said though Babangida "is very much alive and kicking," he had not publicly declared his intention to contest the presidential elections in 2007.

He said that although there were "speculations and rumours on allegations of wrongdoings in coffee shops and market places, not one of those allegations has been substantiated."

Obasanjo said that four years ago, he had established a commission of inquiry (Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission headed by Justice Chukwudifu Oputa) into all alleged wrongdoings of the past "with a view to finding out the truth and attracting apologies" from offenders to their victims, but that Babangida declined to appear.

"I appeared before the commission twice; Babangida was invited but he did not go there,'' the president added.
He said when the report of the commission was submitted, Babangida went to court and stopped government from publishing it, "and we had to obey the court orders."

Obasanjo said he believed that anybody whose reputation was being tarnished or whose interest was threatened, "must do everything to protect or clean it''.
He said, however, that the report of the Oputa Commis-sion was one of the documents that were sent to the National Political Reforms Conference for its consideration.

"No allegation has been proved or formally presented to either the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Com-mission) or the ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices Commission), on the former ruler,'' Obasanjo added.

Babangida who spoke yesterday through one time military administrator of Plateau State, Colonel Habibu Shuaibu (rtd.) said that the "last elections witnessed a lot of inconsistencies, a lot of malpractices and a lot of issues that should not be in a democratic environment."

He urged Nigerians to use the public hearing on the electoral bill to address all the anomalies that characterized the last election by ensuring that the National Assembly comes up with an Act that will meet the democratic aspiration of the people.

Babangida said the public hearing is an “opportunity for us as citizens of this country, as loyal servants and democratic people to give our input to the electoral law, so that tomorrow we don't castigate (Independent National Electoral Commission) INEC or castigate members of the National Assembly or the executive."

He told participants at the public hearing from Niger, Kogi, Kwara, Plateau, Benue, Nasarawa States and the FCT, "you have a say, you have to contribute to the electoral law."

Commending the Senate for allowing public debate on the Electoral Bill, the former military leader enjoined the National Assembly to come out with an electoral law that will stand the test of time.

Declaring the two-day public hearing open, Niger State Governor Abdulkadir Kure said a free and fair election holds the key to the stability of democratic governance.

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