This is what passes for honesty in Nigeria. The notoriously corrupt country reached a new low this week with Kogi State APC Chairman, Alhaji Hadi Ametuo. Ametuo was asked about the slightly awkward fact of his party’s candidate in the forthcoming governorship poll, Prince Audu Abubakar, being under investigation for stealing over N11 billion during his prior office term. Ametuo shrugged off the alleged theft as something that is quite common and then promised that Audu would return the money . . . if he is elected.
Audu is being prosecuted for misappropriating the N11 billion of the states’s funds while he was governor between 1999 and 2003. However, Ametuo explained that it should not be something that actually leads people to vote against him: “Nobody is a saint. No governor can claim he has not done any malpractice or stolen anything during his time in the office.”
He then revealed what he clearly thought was a noble act by Audu: “We heard of Saraki’s case, even Tinubu is being accused of stealing funds but the truth is that Prince Abubakar Audu has pledged to return the money to the Kogi treasury when he gets elected on the November 21st, yes he will return the 11billion naira or even more than that and that will add to the Kogi economy”.
Audu was known not just for his alleged corruption but obvious egotism. His controversial acts included renaming of the Kogi State University after himself as Prince Abubakar Audu University. Then there was Audu’s physical abuse and abandonment (in a hospital) of his wife and former first lady. Once again, however, Chairman Alhaji Hadi Ametuo would note “nobody is a saint” in Nigeria.