The Presidency has said President Muhammadu Buhari will not extend his corruption probe beyond the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr. Buhari, who only just returned to the country after a four-day official visit to the United States, has consistently said he would investigate and bring to book, persons who looted the country’s funds.
Speaking on Tuesday in the U.S, the president said he would arrest and prosecute past ministers and other officials who stole Nigeria’s oil and diverted government’s money to personal accounts.
Buttressing the president’s position, his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Femi Adesina said Mr. Buhari will limit his anti-corruption war to the immediate past administration in the country.
According to him, President Buhari will not waste time in probing the administrations of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Abdulsalam Abubakar, Sani Abacha and Ibrahim Babangida.
Adesina pointed out that even before he was sworn in to office on May 29, the president had categorically stated that he would not extend his corruption probe beyond the Jonathan government.
“If you recall, that was already settled before he got inaugurated as president. He has said he will not waste time digging into the far past”, the presidential spokesman said.
“The far past will include Obasanjo and others. But the president has said he will not waste time to go that far”, he added.
Before leaving office, Mr. Jonathan had said any probe by the new government that did not extend beyond his administration would be seen as a “witch hunt”.
But many public commentators had interpreted the former president’s statement as a blackmail ploy to shield many officials of his administration, who are perceived to be corrupt.
Defending Mr. Buhari’s decision to travel to the U.S with his son, Yusuf, Adesina said no laws of the land was breached by the president by so doing.
He said it was a normal practice for presidents to travel with members of their families, citing the example of American presidents, including the incumbent and late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who travel abroad with their wives and children.
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with the president travelling with one of his sons. It is an acceptable and standard practice. He could go with up to four members of his family.
“Don’t forget that when former President Bill Clinton visited Nigeria while he was in office, he came with his daughter, Chelsea.
“President Barak Obama travels with his children and so the President of Nigeria can travel out with three or four of his children. Late President Umaru Yar’Adua used to travel with two of his sons and one of his grandchildren”, he said.
Mr. Adesina described the outcome of President Buhari’s official visit to the US as “a roaring success on every side”.
“There are good returns. It is an investment that will yield very handsome returns”, he added.