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Jang in EFCC net as security agency move on prominent Plateau cleric, El-Buba


Former Governor of Plateau State,  Mr.  Jonah Jang,  has been asked by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC to account for his stewardship while in office. 

This followed his invitation by the anti graft agency, which he honoured on Tuesday

This was confirmed by his Senior Legislative Aide,  Mrs. Olivia Dazyam.

Jang's invitation also came at a time a Plateau cleric, and overseer of Evangelical Bible Outreach Ministry International (EBOMI), Prophet Isaiah El-Buba,  was arrested by security agencies in Jos. 

Though details of the reason for his arrest were still sketchy as at press time  

However while one report said he was arrested as a result of his Sunday sermon where he called asked Nigerians to reject President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 polls,  another report said he was invited along with Jang to the anti graft agency following an alleged business deal with the former governor. 

It was gathered that while Jang responded to the invitation,  El-Buba never did. 

In the statement confirming Jang's invitation to EFCC, Dazyan said David Jang was not arrested but only honoured EFCC invitation.

The statement said,  "The Senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District in the National Assembly Senator (Dr.) Jonah David Jang is pleased to honour the invitation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) today, to give an account of his meritorious stewardship to the people of Plateau State, when he served as their Governor for 8years from 2007-2015.

 She called on his friends, supporters, and well-wishers to remain unperturbed as he has nothing to hide with respect to the sterling legacy of performance he has so far established in public life.

But efforts to get El-Buba were abortive. When our correspondent visited his church,  nobody was on sight for inquiries. 

However,  a group, Plateau Collective Interest, on Tuesday gave insight into the  reasons for El-Buba's arrest. 

A statement signed by its Cordinator,  Dr.  David Dmitri's Ishaku, said the cleric was to answer some questions in connection with some business deals with the governor, but he failed. 

In the statement entitled 'Arrest of El-Buba: Facts of the matter', the group said EFCC had been on the trail of the duo since 2015.

 The statement said,  "On Monday, January 15, 2018, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the course of their duty, went to the headquarters of the Evangelical Bible Outreach Ministry International (EBOMI) and invited the leader of the ministry, Prophet Isa El-Buba to their office.

"The EFCC has been on the trail of the prophet since 2015 as a result of his alleged involvement in an alleged fraud case involving a former governor of the state, Jonah Jang, with whom he enjoys more than a special relationship with.

"The anti-graft agency was there carrying out its legitimate duty to recover funds it believes were stolen from the coffers of the state and which the prophet from allegations is said to have immensely benefitted from to put up the imposing structure that is now the tallest building in Plateau State that currently houses his ministry.

"In the course of building the structure, it is well known that EBOMI encroached into the land belonging to a public primary school, an act which is a great infringement on public property and violation of citizens’ right to education but due to the executive backing the ministry had at the time, the opposition did not go beyond a whimper.

"Though this is well known that the primary school authority had written a petition at the time, many chose to look the other way because none was prepared to incur the wrath of the then governor who is known to be chummy with the prophet.

"Some have even alleged that the edifice actually belonged to the former governor and that the prophet is only being used as a front to achieve the ex-governor’s ambition of building a structure taller than the ‘Standard Building’ put up on behlf of the state by revered late Joseph Gomwalk so that the religious garb would drown whatever opposition that may arise; and this so far has worked very well.

"Unknown to the governor, the pockets of protests which were suppressed at that time, have been noted by the anti-graft agency and has formed part of the allegations of sleaze against the former governor and it is in furtherance of that investigation that the EFCC has now invited El-Buba to answer to these allegations.

"With the benefit of hindsight, it could be said that the prophet, who was well aware that the anti-graft agency was on his case, carefully thought of a way to dissuade them and quickly released the video attacking President Muhammadu Buhari so as to as usual, import religion into the matter to serve as shield and in order to buy time for himself.

"A thorough scrutiny of what transpired would confirm this.

1.     El- Buba holds sermons every Thursday evening at the EBOMI headquarters but has never allowed videos of his sermon to be posted on social as he has a TV programme where such are aired.

2.     His attack of the President was not the first and could not have angered the presidency into arresting him.

3.     His partisan support for the PDP and their candidates are well known, and even with such support in 2015, the people of Plateau voted against the PDP in the last general elections hence it would be wrong to assume that his message could have any influence on the people who are well aware of his partisanship.

4.     He is yet to explain to the people of Plateau where he got the money to put up the tallest building in Plateau even when he  is not known to be doing any business other than evangelism.

5.     He is yet to apologize for depriving poor pupils the chance to study under a conducive environment by allowing himself to be used to appropriate land belonging to a public school.

6.     Other pastors like the General Overseer of the  Latter Rain Assembly and Dunamis Intenational, Pastors Tunde Bakare and  Paul Enenche have made even more scathing remarks on the president in their sermons and have larger followership but were neither invited nor arrested simply by any agency of government simply because they do not have any case of fraud standing against them.

The statement called on the people of Plateau not to allow themselves to be hoodwinked into believing that the arrest of the El-Buba has anything to do with his sermon.

It added,  "We are happy to note that the people are much more informed now and have started asking the right questions and very soon the whole truth will be out.

"Let us remain calm and peaceful as the current administration tries to recover every kobo stolen from the coffers of Plateau State".