Jonathan Under Fire for Nominating “Corrupt” ex-Gov. Muazu as PENCOM Boss

Nov. 25, 2013

Mu’azu was accused of looting N19.8 billion from state coffers

The Transition Monitoring Group has kicked against President Goodluck Jonathan’s nomination of Adamu Mu’azu, former Bauchi State Governor, as the Chairman of the Nigerian Pension Commission, PENCOM.

The group accused the president of appointing a candidate who was still under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for corruption.

Last week Wednesday, President Jonathan forwarded Mr. Mu’azu’s name – alongside Mfon Akpan as Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service – to the Senate for confirmation.

“The Transition Monitoring Group, TMG, is astonished and peeved by this move of the President, especially in the light of the fact that the former Governor is yet to be cleared by the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, of the corruption charges he is facing for allegedly defrauding the coffers of Bauchi State to the tune of N19.8billion when he was Governor of the State,” the group said in a statement on Monday.

“This and other similar acts of Mr. President, particularly his penchant for surrounding himself with famed corrupt individuals, makes his government’s so-called anti-corruption efforts a laughing stock, for it is patently obvious from his antecedents that President Jonathan endorses corruption.

“The EFCC is investigating Mr. Mu’azu for allegedly stealing billions of naira belonging to Bauchi State during his term as governor between 1999 and 2007.Other names forwarded to the Senate for confirmation as Commissioners of PENCOM include Chinelo Anohu-Amazu (South East), Reuben Omotowa (North Central), Mohammed Ka’oje (North West), and Adesojo Olaoba-Efuntayo (South West).But the group said that appointing Mr. Mu’azu to head the commission is in line with his practice of shielding corrupt individuals.

“TMG recalls that in the heat of the corruption charges against the same Mu’azu Adamu, President Jonathan appointed him in 2011 as Chairman of the Board of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA),” said the statement signed by Ibrahim Zikirullahi and Eddy Ezurike, the group’s Chairman and Publicity Secretary respectively.

“It was with the President’s nod that Business Mogul, Mike Adenuga and his wife, Titi Adenuga in late 2010 walked free from the EFCC charges they were facing for reportedly collecting bribes from Siemens officials; and it was this same attitude of Presidential Romance with alleged corrupt individuals that enabled controversial Lawyer, Dele Oye to walk scot free from EFCC charges of allegedly acting as front for the defunct Oceanic Bank CEO, Cecilia Ibru; and aiding her to loot tens of billions of Naira in Bank assets.

“The Nigerian people of course will not forget in a hurry how this same President granted presidential pardon to a notorious convicted corrupt former Governor and his kinsman, DSP Alamieyeseigha, and other criminals, including a paedophile.

“Those who recently looted the Police Pensions Board, including its former Director are yet to be brought to book. The list is endless; yet Jonathan’s regime talks about fight against corruption. The attitude of Mr. President in recycling corrupt individuals in public places is worrisome and does not inspire confidence at all.

“In fact, on issue after issue, he has shown that he will never combat corruption but will rather aid, abet and shield corrupt officials.

“The group called on President Jonathan to withdraw, immediately, Mr. Mu’azu’s nomination and take “creative steps” to rebuild confidence and imbue confidence in the anti-corruption war.

“This is the only pathway to redemption, prosperity and development in this country,” the statement added.