$67b: Falana Wants FG To Focus On Issues
A Lagos lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, has urged the federal government to address the issues raised by the former Minister of Education, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili in her allegation that the Jonathan administration squandered $67 billion of the nation’s foreign reserve.
He expressed surprise instead of doing this; the federal government had decided to resort to cheap blackmail and vulgar abuse.
He said; “let the Federal Government take up Mrs Ezekwesili’s timely and patriotic challenge. But the debate should not be limited to the withdrawal of $67 billion from the Federation Account. It should be a debate on the reckless diversion of huge public funds and the gross mismanagement of the Nigerian economy since 1999.
“While pleading guilty, perhaps unconsciously, to the charge of illegal diversion of the said sum of $67 billion, the Jonathan administration asked Nigerians to believe that Mrs Ezekwesili also mismanaged the billions of Naira budgeted for education under her watch.
Falana said Nigerians need the debate so as to afford Nigerians the opportunity to know the roles played by all the dramatis personae and their collaborators that have shamelessly unleashed unprecedented poverty on a nation that has earned more revenue in the last 14 years than any other period in the history of Nigeria since the amalgamation of 1914 and added that there should be no grandstanding on the part of each of the former and current public office holders who should be pleading “mea maxima culpa” (through my grievous fault) before the people.
“As far as the pauperised and traumatised Nigerian citizens are concerned, the Jonathan administration is an off shoot of the Obasanjo administration notwithstanding the ongoing intra class feud among the members of both reactionary regimes,” the legal luminary said.
Falana said; “It is a shame that the Federal Government has rejected a golden
opportunity to call the bluff of the arrogant officials of the Obasanjo regime who are trying to hoodwink Nigerians to accept that the Nigerian neo-colonial economy was better managed when they were in power. Instead of running from pillar to post over the allegation made by the former Minister, the Jonathan regime should have explained how the account was drawn down to service an unproductive bureaucracy and fund the thriving corruption industry since 2007.
“Having done that, it has proceeded to ask the Obasanjo regime to account for the N26 trillion earned from oil and non oil sectors from 1999-2007.”