The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) says it has not exonerated Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in the recent N90 billion scandal.
Recall that the leadership of the Christian body visited the Vice President last Friday to discuss the N90 billion he allegedly received from the Federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS during the buildup of the 2019 general elections. The body after the meeting said it is throwing its weight behind the Vice President in this trying time. Many had interpreted this to mean the body had exonerated the Vice President from any wrongdoing.
However in a statement released on Sunday September 29th, the Special Assistant (Media & Communications) to CAN president Rev. Samson Ayokunle, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, said the Christian body can never endorse corruption and has not exonerated Osinbajo from the allegation. The body says it awaits the outcome of investigations into the allegation.
The statement in part reads
“The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) can never endorse corruption and has never exonerated anyone accused of corruption because we are not a court of law. Anyone accused of corruption has to prove his or her innocence with documentary evidence before the court of competent jurisdiction as we all know before his or her innocence can be upheld.
“CAN leadership visited the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo last Friday to hear his side of the story instead of rushing to the press either to condemn him or throw our weight behind him. This we believe, there is no law that is against our action.
“After we had interacted with him and he said that the allegation was baseless and should be treated as rubbish, and not only that, that he said that he was going to pursue the matter legally to prove his innocence, we then assured him that if he is proved innocent, then we throw our weight behind him.
“We thereafter prayed for him and our nation Nigeria. We urged him to continue to serve the nation with clean hands. The leadership of CAN has never endorsed corruption. In our earlier visits to President Muhammadu Buhari, we had praised him for fighting war against corruption but urged him to make it comprehensive, sparing no one irrespective of political affiliation.”
Timi Frank, a former deputy spokesperson of the APC had alleged that the purported faceoff between President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo started when the presidency discovered that Osinbajo accepted N90 billion from FIRS during the buildup of the 2019 general election. Frank said Osinbajo has not been able to give the president an account of how the money was spent.
Vice President Osinbajo has since denied the allegation and has filed legal proceedings against Timi Frank.