The presidency shed more light on the planned investigation into the activities of the immediate past government of Goodluck Jonathan.
Garba Shehu, Muhammadu Buhari’s special adviser on media and publicity, also disclosed that no one was under probe yet and responded to the accusations of the alleged “selective” probe recently posed by a prominent northern leader, Tanko Yakassai.
In an exclusive interview with Vanguard published on Sunday, August 23, Shehu mocked the insinuation that Buhari’s administration had excluded Olusegun Obasanjo from the probe due to his affinity with him.
The official was quoted as saying:
“Let me say that officially, nobody is under probe even Dr. Jonathan. People should not make mistakes about the fact that what is going on are routine investigations. These are matters that the president has found on the table.
“So, there is nothing like a probe. If Jonathan will be probed, you would have heard of, may be, an administrative panel of enquiry or Judicial Panel of Enquiry. But it hasn’t come to that. These are matters of routine engagements of due process of law and order.
“I am talking about probe now. As I said, President Buhari in his campaign said this government is not going to probe into the past. We are not probing but as a responsible government, you cannot bring to the table matters such as we are dealing with and then, the president will wave them off.
“The office of the president may be powerful but it is controlled, regulated by due process and the constitution of the country. The president cannot wave away the matters that are arising from either handing over or the routine briefings that he is into.
“How can anybody say he was part of the Obasanjo military regime. That’s why he’s not probing them?”
He further noted that it was Jonathan who should have probed the previous governments.
“Let me tell you, if Obsanjo and Yar’Adua and all of the past governments before Jonathan needed to have been probed, why did Mr Jonathan shy away from his responsibility? Why didn’t he probe him why he was in office? Why didn’t Mr Tanko Yakkassai ask Jonathan to probe Yar’Adua, Babangida, Obasanjo? Why do they have to wait for Buhari to come to do what he should have done then?
“It is common sense. So, if he didn’t probe them, why should his people ask some other person to come and probe them? If they felt it was desirable, as a party, PDP, if it was desirable to probe the past administration, why didn’t they do it themselves? Why do they have to wait for President Buhari to come?
“No, this is not a government of probes. It is a government of due process and law and order. President Buhari is dealing with the matters he has found on the table and he has no power under the constitution to wave them. If someobody had stolen Nigeria’s one billion dollars of oil, President Buhari is not authorized to wave it off under the law. He should ask questions. There is no probe going on now. People who are creating the spectre of probes in the country just want to create unnecessary fear.”
Shehu added that the exact time when the probe could start was not clear yet.
When asked about the anticipated appointment of ministers, the official commented on the reports saying the cabinet would be set up in September.
“He didn’t say September 1 though. The president will appoint ministers. There is no question about that. I don’t know. The president will decide when he will appoint his Ministers. If it is auspicious for him to appoint them in September, he will.”
It should be recalled that President Buhari on numerous occasions reiterated his commitment to uncovering the corrupt officials of the immediate past government. He refused, however, to probe the administrations of Obasanjo and Yar’Adua, which was characterized by some as a pure witch-hunting of Goodluck Jonathan and his men.