Jonathan asks for a list of ex-convicts with national honours

Following incessant calls by opposition parties, anti-corruption organisations, and some members of the House of Representatives for the stripping of ex-convicts of national honours, reports say President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered that a list of such convicts be compiled.

It will be recalled that in July, the House of Representatives passed a resolution asking Jonathan to strip the national honours given to former bank MDs who had been tried or convicted for their roles in the collapse of their banks in 2009.

Besides George, some of those reportedly listed for stripping of the awards include former Inspector General of Police, Tafa Balogun; former Managing Director of Oceanic Bank, Cecilia Ibru; and former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank, Erastus Akingbola.  

Bode George was convicted by a Lagos High Court in 2009 for impropriety committed while in charge of the Nigerian Ports Authority, while Tafa Balogun was found guilty of money laundering charges in 2005 by Justice Binta Murtala-Nyako.

Reacting to the new development, the National Publicity Secretary of the CPC, Rotimi Fashakin, voiced his support.

?In some of the cases, like that of Mr. Tafa Balogun, and a chieftain of the PDP, Chief Bode George, they were just not what could be treated as a family affair,” he said.

?Under normal circumstances, if the constitution forbids a criminal ex-convict from holding elective office, it is deductible that the individual should also lose the privileges that a previous national honour confers.?

On his part, Action Congress of Nigeria’s (ACN) National Chairman, Bisi Akande, said: ?If they are honourable themselves, they should have dropped the awards once they are convicted but such a courageous action is far from Nigeria.

?The President should do what is right. In civilised countries, honour cannot be given to thieves.?

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