by Lekan Olanrewaju
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) on Tuesday called for the National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, due to the fact that they believed the President had solicited bribes from a construction company.
President Jonathan had, at the inauguration of a church in his hometown, said that the managing director of a construction company, Gitto, made him a promise to build and donate the church to the community after he had complained. This, the ACN said, was an open admission of soliciting a bribe, and was in violation of the constitution.
“To know the gravity of the President’s self admission of soliciting the church “gift” from the Managing Director of Gitto Construzioni Generali Nigeria Limited (GCG), one needs to understand Section 6 of the Code of Conduct for Public officers embodied in the First Schedule of the 1999 Constitution and the Code of Conduct and Tribunal Act (CAP C15) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004,” said a statement released by the party through it’s National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed.
“The Act states: ‘A public officer shall not ask for or accept any property or benefits of any kind for himself or any other person on account of anything done or omitted to be done by him in the discharge of his duties.
“For the purposes of subsection (1) of this subsection, the receipt by a public officer of any gifts or benefits from commercial firms, business enterprises or persons who have contracts with the Government shall be presumed to have been received in contravention…unless the contrary is proved’,” it said.
“Gitto has obtained billions of contracts from the Nigerian government, amid reported allegations in the media that it has not executed such contracts well. How can the federal government hold the company to account, when it (the construction company) has obtained an ”insurance cover” by bribing the President? Is this not why the country’s anti-corruption efforts have not achieved anything? Can the EFCC and the ICPC honestly and boldly fight corruption when the President is knee-deep in the mud of corruption?” the statement continued.
The ACN also insisted that the President’s statement was referring to a bribe, and warning the government against trying to deny it.
“If the President and his supporters deny that he indeed solicited the bribe – as he admitted at the inauguration of the church – we challenge the presidency to play – on national radio and television – the unedited audio and video recording of his speech at the occasion for all Nigerians to hear and see. Experts must also be called in to verify that the tape has not been tampered with in any way” they said.
Meanwhile, the PDP has responded to the statement saying it is “deeply worried by the incessant destructive hue of an opposition, who though bereft of a credible alternative model, still struts the stage in a jaundiced illusion of a model driver of the perfect.
“We are not surprised the ACN is losing sleep over the maturity and stability that the National Assembly led by our great Party has gained in the last few years, much less its smooth working relationship with the executive,” their statement continued.
“We therefore call on the National Assembly to disregard the ACN and remain focused in the joint effort to achieve the transformation of Nigeria.”