The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, has faulted a former
Minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Suleiman, regarding the culpability of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in the current anti-corruption cases.
Suleiman, who is the spokesperson for the PDP Ministers’ Forum, had said in an interview that Jonathan could not be held liable as no stolen funds had been traced to his personal bank accounts.
But Sagay said that Jonathan could be held liable once it could be established that the ex-president made illegal approvals for funds to be paid into other people’s accounts.
In an interview with PUNCH, he said if established that Jonathan gave the CBN a directive to pay someone money and the person was not deserving of that money, then the ex-President could be indicted.
Sagay, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, added, “Only the EFCC can say if Jonathan is culpable. Guilt in criminal law requires proof and there must be evidence. So, what I would say is that if a case can be established against Jonathan as regards public funds, then he has a case to answer.
“I don’t know if that has been done. I have not seen anybody who says he was given the money by Jonathan himself although one can say that instructions to any institution that public funds should be released to other people for purposes, which those funds were not designated, is in itself a criminal affair.
“So, it is not only when money is found on you that you have a case to answer. If you are a person in authority, and you issue directives to people under you, who are keeping public funds like the Governor of the Central Bank, and an illegal order is given to him for the release of funds, that, in itself, will raise a case for Jonathan to answer if in fact he issued such an order.”