The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said it will not comment on the indictment of a former Minister of petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, by the anti-graft agency, EFCC.
During the week, the EFCC said it had traced at least N47.2 billion and $487.5 million in cash and property to the former minister.
The commission's acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, later said what had been recovered so far from the former minister and PDP member was "a tip of the iceberg."
Mrs. Alison-Madueke is currently held up in London where she is also being investigated for money laundering and has been barred from travelling.
A statement by Dayo Adeyeye, the spokesperson for the PDP National
Caretaker Committee, on Friday, said the party would not make any comment on the allegations against Mrs. Alison-Madueke and other members of the party, who were being tried for corruption.
Mr. Adeyeye, who addressed journalists at the national headquarters of the party in Abuja on Friday, said it was wrong for the anti-corruption agency to try the suspected looters in the media.
He said the commission ought to have taken the matter to court and get the suspects convicted alleging that the publicity given to the corruption allegations against Mrs. Alison-Madueke and others were intended to portray the PDP as a party of corrupt people.
According to him, it was wrong for the anti-graft agency to make itself the investigator, prosecutor and judge. He claimed that the people with corruption cases, who had defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress from the PDP, had been forgiven .
"The only thing you need to do today is to defect to the APC and all your sins would be forgiven. All APC members are saints and others are sinners," he said.
"How can the EFCC make allegations and convict us by itself? It is the one making allegations and it is the one convicting people.
"Until a court of competent jurisdiction pronounces the suspects guilty, they remain just suspects and innocent as well. So, we won't talk about those issues.
"If there is a genuine case against her or any other person, please go to court and establish that they are corrupt. You can't just claim that you have found someone with money you suspect was illegally acquired and pronounce such person guilty. You need to go to court and establish it."
The spokesperson said there was a failed attempt by some individuals to stop
the PDP Special Non-Elective Convention, scheduled for Saturday (today) in Abuja, through a court order on Thursday.
He said, "Some people tried to scuttle the convention by using the court, but they failed."
Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu
According to him, since the plot did not succeed, there was no point talking about it.
"No fewer than 3,000 delegates from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory would participate in the non-elective national convention," Mr. Adeyeye said
He noted that the convention would also be observed by various foreign missions and international organisations like the Organisation of African Unity and the United Nations.
The PDP spokesperson said the special convention holding today (Saturday) would be an avenue to reunite the party's members after a prolonged leadership crisis in the party.
"We wanted to make it a unity convention; hence we decided to bring so many people to serve in this committee. Those who were with the former National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, have been integrated into the convention committee. The policy of no 'victor, no vanquished' has been fully implemented by the caretaker committee," he said.
"We have seen so much enthusiasm by members. The convention will be
like a carnival. Members of the PDP across the country are coming.
"We are expecting over 3,000 delegates. Foreign missions are invited. International organisations are coming to observe this convention. Our members in the Diaspora have started arriving."