Peter Obi urges EFCC to prioritize budget padding, subsidy payment investigations over Bobrisky and Naira abuse cases

Peter Obi

Peter Obi, the Labour Party's presidential candidate in the 2023 general elections, has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to redirect its focus towards more significant issues. 

In an interview with Arise Television on June 12, 2024, Obi emphasized that the agency should not prioritize the arrest of individuals for naira abuse. Obi viewed the arrest of Bobrisky, a self-acclaimed crossdresser, and others for naira abuse as "minor issues." 

He urged the EFCC to concentrate on more substantial investigations, such as budget padding and undisclosed subsidy payments, which he believed were more critical to the country's economic well-being.

“If it is not budget padding today, it would be undisclosed subsidy payment, inflated contracts, and all sorts of things,” Obi said.

“These are issues I want our agencies like EFCC to start dealing with but not arresting Bobrisky and Cubana Chief Priest. These are minor issues.

“Our agencies should face budget padding squarely not arresting Bobrisky because he dressed like a woman and spent N500 notes.”

In March, the upper legislative chamber suspended Abdul Ningi, senator representing Bauchi central, after he alleged that the 2024 budget was padded by N3 trillion — but the red chamber recalled Ningi before the three months elapsed.

The senator claimed that the national assembly approved N25 trillion while the president signed N28.7 trillion.

Similarly, there are claims that President Bola Tinubu has returned part of fuel subsidy that was abolished on May 29, 2023, but the presidency denied the claim, insisting that fuel subsidy is gone.

Speaking further, Obi compared Nigeria’s situation to the “Titanic”, as well as an airplane going through turbulence.

“When you enter a plane, there is bad weather; there’s going to be turbulence. The pilot says, we’re going to go through bad weather, it’s going to take us maybe one hour, two hours because of this weather, and he follows it through,” Obi said.

“That is not the time everybody….even the crew, are asked to sit down. That’s not the time to start serving food and wine when everything is up and down.

“I always say what happened to the Titanic is what is happening in Nigeria. While it was going down, people on the upper deck were busy dancing until the whole thing collapsed. That’s what is happening now.”

He berated the federal government for its frivolous expenditures, spending over N21 billion for the accommodation of Vice-President Kashim Shettima.

Obi said Nigeria has not really achieved much in the last 25 years of democratic governance.

He said Nigeria is not practising true democracy and has deteriorated into “dictatorship and classical state capture.”

“While we may say that in 1999, we started in earnest in the right direction, today we have deteriorated into what can be classified as classical state capture. Instead of benefiting all, it has become a deprivation for all,” Obi noted.

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