The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has commended the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for doing a thorough investigation into the corruption case of former governor, Jolly Nyame of Taraba.
The Director of MURIC, Ishaq Akintola, made the commendation in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
NAN reports that Mr Nyame was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory headed by Justice Adebukola Banjoko.
The judge also ordered the refund of N1.64 billion diverted by the ex-governor since May, 2007.
Mr Akintola also lauded the judge who delivered the landmark judgment for her boldness and forthrightness, adding that there was no doubt that her pronouncement would deter other kleptomaniacs from similar act in public service.
The MURIC boss advised other judges to emulate Ms Banjoko, adding that judges should sum up enough courage to deal with executive thieves standing trial before them as quickly as possible.
“This judgment marks the beginning of active participation of the judiciary and its cooperation with the executive in anti-graft war.
“We give kudos to the federal government for vigorously pursuing the war against corruption.
“Nyame’s imprisonment has cemented the resolve of this administration to bring about change in Nigeria and it will bring to five the number of ex-governors sent to jail since the beginning of President Muhammadu Buhari’s war against corruption.
”Although he was later set free, James Bala Ngilari, ex-Gov. of Adamawa State, bagged five years in March 2017, Babangida Aliyu, former Niger Governor, tasted the bitter pill on April 25, 2017 when he was remanded in prison.
”Similarly, former Gov. Sule Lamido of Jigawa was remanded in prison on May 2, 2017 and Jonah Jang, the former Gov. of Plateau, was remanded in prison custody on May 16, 2018. It is an unprecedented challenge of the status quo ante,” Mr Akintola said.
He, therefore, called on Nigerians to show appreciation for this positive development, noting that the judgment implies that there was light at the end of the tunnel.
He said that those who had lost hope in the Nigerian project should now reposition themselves as more evidence had emerged to prove that the stage was set for a better Nigeria.
The director explained that the main reason for people losing hope in the country had been the general lack of accountability in previous governments.
“Crooks in government were stealing with impunity and nobody was ever questioned or arrested. Our values were bastardised. Criminals were celebrated. But change is here.
“Those who stole our common patrimony are now being made to face the music. It therefore behoves true patriots to rally behind President Buhari and his administration,” he said.
Mr Akintola, however, urged the federal government to remain focused and consistent in its efforts to clean up the mess in Nigeria and to restore the good name of this great country in the comity of nations.
“There must be no retreat, no surrender.”