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EFCC list: US, EU ask for evidence

Posted by By Ike Nnamdi, The Sun Reporter, Washington DC. on 2007/02/09 | Views: 627 |

EFCC list: US, EU ask for evidence


Washington has challenged Abuja to provide evidence on which it leveled corruption charges against some leading opposition candidates.

Washington has challenged Abuja to provide evidence on which it leveled corruption charges against some leading opposition candidates.

The State Department said the action became necessary because of the " seriousness of the accusations and the implication that those implicated have been adjudged guilty even before a trial before a competent court."

The tough talk from the U.S government underscores the growing concern of the international community to the face-off between President Olusegun Obasanjo and Vice-President Atiku Abubakar. Sources said the statement followed a formal protest lodged by supporters of Vice President Atiku Abubakar to the administration as proof of their claim that the government is out to disqualify the VP and other candidates who have disagreed with government policies .

The administration said the government should take steps to diffuse the current controversy surrounding its decision to release the list because of the wider implications for the April polls.
"The timing of the report is suspect especially since the EFCC has the power to take these citizens to court if it has evidence of any wrong doing," the administration stated. Meanwhile, the European Union has also called for "proper investigation by an independent lawful agency" to the allegations of graft against some opposition candidates. It said Nigerian officials should have given all those allegedly implicated a chance to defend themselves before making the list a public document.
Abia State Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu has continued to accuse president Olusegun Obasanjo of arm twisting the EFCC into releasing the list, despite contrary evidence that most of those mentioned are innocent.

"Some of the Progressive Peoples Alliance candidates on the list have no connection with any government having lived abroad for several years. How can they be accused of corruption?" he asked.
Action Congress candidate and former Anambra State governor, Dr. Chris Ngige dismissed the report as a "predictable attempt at blackmailing those who are determined to liberate our people". He said efforts to get him out of the race would fail as he is determined to ensure PDP candidate Andy Uba does not occupy the Awka Government House.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.