The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said, yesterday, that the Presidency was free to probe past administrations but warned that the exercise must not be carried out with malice, designed to witch-hunt some persons who worked under Dr. Jonathan.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, said in an interview that the investigation must be within the ambit of the law and respect for fundamental human rights of citizens, adding that a government must plan for the future and not necessarily spending its energy looking into the past.
According to Metuh, the current government should allow some persons carry out the investigation while it concentrates on providing services to the people especially in the area of addressing the security challenge in some parts of the country. Metuh said:
“It is the right thing to probe and investigate but there must be respect for fundamental human rights of the people. It must be carried out within the confines of the law, there must be no witch-hunt. There must be plans for the future, the government can go ahead with the probe, but must put forward those things that will move the country forward because very soon, Nigerians will be asking questions on insecurity, incessant arrest, the state of the dollar, among others.”
It would be recalled that President Buhari had restated its call to recover all funds looted in the last regime of former president Goodluck Jonathan.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, weekend, President Buhari, who said he met a near empty treasury on assumption of office, restated his decision to probe the Jonathan’s government to recover the billions of dollars that have not been accounted for.
Last week, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) asked President Buhari to probe the immediate past administration over the $5.5bn dividends said to have been paid to the Federal Government by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited. It also wanted taxes and dividends accruable to the Jonathan administration through the NLNG in the last six years unearthed.
When the issue of probe was first mentioned late May, Dr. Jonathan urged President Buhari not to focus only on his administration, saying it would amount to a witch-hunt if only his administration was probed. He had said, “I think in Nigeria, there are a lot of things that will be probed, very many things, even debts owed by states and debts owed by this country from 1960 up to this time. They say it is Jonathan’s administration that owed these debts… I believe that anybody that is coming for probe must also ensure that this probe is extended beyond the Jonathan administration. Otherwise, to me, it will be witch-hunt. If we are very sincere, it is not only the Jonathan administration that should be probed.”