Former President Goodluck Jonathan is not immune from prosecution in the arms deal scandal if he has questions to answer, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said.
Mohammed said this at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife while delivering the Faculty of Art Distinguished Guest Lecture with the theme “Nexus between Corruption and Under-development of the Nigeria State” on Friday.
According to the Minister, the anti-graft agencies would probe the former president if need be, maintaining that the anti-graft war of President Muhammadu Buhari was aimed at sanitizing the nation.
Fielding questions from journalists on why Jonathan has not been probed in spite of the revelation of corrupt practices under his watch, Mr. Mohammed said the Presidency would not dictate to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on who to probe and when.
“The Presidency does not micro-manage the anti-graft agencies and the presidency does not decide who to be probed at any point in time. The anti-graft agency will probe him if they feel that he has questions to answer and they would do their job at the appropriate time”, he said.
The Minister also said: “If you know the figures of the money stolen by some corrupt individuals, you would be surprised and you would be compelled to join the war against corruption. You can imagine, if one-third of the money stolen could be recovered, it would make significant impact on the education, health, socio-infrastructure including road constructions”.
Mr. Mohammed also lampooned some Nigerians for using the media to cast aspersions on President Buhari in his fight against corruption, lamenting that the nation had lost over $400 billion to corruption in the oil sector alone.
“Let us look at instances of corruption in the various sectors. In the Health sector, for example, remember the N1.9 billion Special Intervention Ebola Fund Scandal, the $29 million for Vaccine Grants Scam and the N300 million Unspent Health Budget scam.
“In the area of security, recall that a former Inspector General of Police is alleged to have acquired assets totaling $150 million, including money stashed in banks and shares in blue chip companies”, Mohammed said.