By Soni Daniel
Abuja – The trial and conviction of former Adamawa State Governor Bala Ngilari, for corruption has been described as a booster to the President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft war.
A group, Journalists Network on Money laundering/Terrorist Financing, Nigeria, made the position in a statement released in Abuja on Monday by its National Coordinator, Odan Agbese, and Programme Advisor, Muhammad Nuruddeen..
The Network said the commitment of the federal government to the fight against corruption has been deepened by the five-year jail term handed down to Ngilari.
It said, “Mr Ngilari is the first Nigerian governor to be sent to jail by a Nigerian court over embezzlement of public funds by any civilian administration in the country.
“This is a welcome development as President Muhammadu Buhari administration adopts strict measures to eliminate theft of public funds, money laundering and terrorist financing.”
It will be recalled that there are no fewer than 12 former governors facing corruption charges at various local courts across the country but Ngilari’s conviction is the first to be done by a local court.
“We are calling on Buhari’s administration to bolster the efforts of its anti-graft agencies in their mandate of prosecuting corruption cases,” the statement said.
The statement said Nigeria must strengthen its anti-graft agencies, “particularly having successfully crushed the 6-year-old Boko Haram terrorism. As Nigeria moves to the post-insurgency era, the EFCC should be empowered to tackle the challenges of terrorist financing and money laundering in the country.”