The presidential pardon granted to ex-Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, is demoralizing to those who sacrificed their lives to fight corruption, Nuhu Ribadu, the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, said.
Mr. Alamieyeseigha, a man convicted in 2005 for robbing his state blind and acquiring property well above his income as governor, was on Tuesday granted state pardon by the National Council of States headed by President Goodluck Jonathan.
This singular act of mercy by the president has infuriated many Nigerians making them doubt the president’s commitment to his famous slogan, transformation agenda.
One Nigerian who is embittered by the move is Mr. Ribadu. It was under his dispensation as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in 2005 that Mr. Alamiyeseigha’s dirty deals and massive stolen asset were brought to the fore. He was also convicted that year after the EFCC’s findings got him in court.
Mr. Ribadu, who spoke to BBC Hausa service, Wednesday, also said the president’s action is a big setback to the fight against corruption.
“I am highly disappointed by the president’s decision,” he said.
Mr. Ribadu added that Mr. Jonathan’s decision to pardon those who were arrested and prosecuted by relevant anti graft agencies sends the wrong signal to those agencies and will kill their morale.
The Council of State on Tuesday granted state pardon to Mr. Alamieyeseigha; Shettima Bulama, another ex-convict prosecuted by the EFCC under Mr. Ribadu for misappropriating money belonging to the then Bank of the North; and others.