A civil society group and a watch dog organization, Good Governance Project Initiative (GGPI) has berated the Finance Minister Mrs. Kemi Adesoun for interfering in the on-going court trial of the former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh by directing the Continuous Audit Team in the Finance Ministry to investigate the N558.2 million revealed in the Court to be allegedly diverted monthly in the Nigerian Airforce.
A news release signed and issued to News Men by GGPI President and National Secretary, Comrade Innocent Ebirim Okadigbo and Mohammed Saleh respectively described the timing of the audit and the participation of the Federal Ministry of Finance in the matter as curious, suspicious and an affront on the Judiciary.
The release queried why the Finance Ministry got involved in the matter at the Court when the Judge had not made any pronouncement on it and why the Finance Ministry should get involved at this stage when EFCC is the prosecuting Agency and has the full powers to continue to investigate the matter.
GGPI concluded that the Finance Ministry’s involvement in the matter is pre-emptive, contemptuous, ill-motivated, an after-thought, vindictive and Federal Government’s desperation to nail Alex Badeh at all cost having seen that the witnesses the Federal Government brought against Badeh contradicted themselves and could not back up their testimonies with any single document and evidence instead they claimed they spoke from their head.
“EFCC recorded a poor outing in the Court against Badeh owing to lack of evidence to indict the accused. The entire prosecution is a sham. Finance Ministry might have been brought in at this stage to add credibility to the sham”, the News Release emphasized.
GGPI urged the Finance Minister to be professional, God fearing and never to be used to victimize an innocent person and should therefore wait for Court’s pronouncement before proceeding with that investigation.