A frontline civil society pressure group, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution (CDNDC) has cautioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against being used by wheel dealers to settle political scores.
The group in a statement by its Convener, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, expressed disappointment in the EFCC for prioritizing a petition written by someone of questionable character over petitions written by unencumbered Nigerians.
CDNDC described the petition written against Baba Ijebu’s Premier Lotto by Western Lotto as hand of Esau but voice of Jacob, noting that it was a carryover of the bitter politics of 2019 between Ladi Adebutu, who is a son of Baba Ijebu and Buruji Kashamu.
The group said the EFCC cannot be complaining of an unfavourable Transparency International rating, when it cannot honour petitions from responsible Nigerians, but from political wheeler dealers who would rather use the commission to do “political con-job” and get at their perceived enemies.
“Our attention has been drawn to a petition written against Baba Ijebu’s premier lotto by Western Lotto company, owned by a controversial businessman who is wanted in the United States, Buruji Kashamu.
According to an EXCLUSIVE report by an online newspaper, Premiumtimes: EFCC goes after ‘Baba Ijebu’ over alleged multi-billion naira tax fraud. The petition was not written to the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
“We wish to urge the EFCC to be wary of a petition coming from a controversial political businessman who is wanted in the United States of American, and known for exploiting the system to serve his interest.
“The EFCC which is yet to act on a number of petitions written by unencumbered Nigerians against some prominent politicians in the country for trading in vote buying, has now found it so cheap to go after Baba Ijebu’s lotto company, acting on a petition from a fugitive.
“If there is indeed a reason to write petition against any company over tax evasion, the appropriate agency to first write is the FIRS, which has the power to invite the EFCC to do the needful, but Buruji chose to directly engage the EFCC to serve his political interest.
“This petition written against Baba Ijebu’s Premier Lotto by Western Lotto is the hand of Esau but voice of Jacob, and it is important for the EFCC to know it is a carryover of the bitter politics of 2019 between Ladi Adebutu, who is a son of Baba Ijebu and Buruji Kashamu.
“Buruji Kashamu wants to remain an issue in Southwest politics, he loves to court controversy to remain relevant, but the EFCC must not allow itself to be dragged into political rivalry by attending to some frivolous petitions.
“Chief Adebutu Kessington – Baba Ijebu is a well respected Nigerian, and it is sad that it was someone of Kashamu’s repute that petitioned this highly revered Nigerian. The EFCC is urged to ignore Kashamu’s political serving voyage.