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Saturday, 14 November 2009

Nigeria's ruling party backs corruption conviction of top member


Seeking to minimise the perceived damage done to it by the recent conviction of one of its top members, Bode George, Nigeria's ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has endorsed the conviction.

George, a former deputy national chairman of the PDP, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years imprisonment, along with five others, last week for a contract scam while he ser ved as the chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

Since then, the opposition and other commentators have sought to cast the PDP as a party of corrupt officials.

But PDP spokesman Rufai Alkali said the party abhors corruption and does not believe in 'sacred cows'.

''Since his assumption of office in 2007, President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua has consistently made it clear that his administration shall operate a zero tolerance policy on corruption. He has also made it clear there shall be no sacred cows in his determination to ensure accountability in government,'' Alkali said in a statement.

''This is precisely why he has always emphasised government's commitment to due process and the rule of law, as the cardinal principles of his administration.

''The PDP therefore finds it amusing that some politicians have taken advantage of this judgement to cast aspersion on the party as if it was not the PDP government that has provided the enabling environment for the independence of the judiciary,'' he added.

Lagos - 04/11/2009


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