By Victoria Onehi
The Cross River women under the auspices of Cross River Young Women in Politics, CRYWP, Thursday, called on President Bola Tinubu, to suspend the Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle, over investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for transparency and reliable outcome.
This was contained in a statement signed by the President, CRYWIP, Hon Eniobong Rita Umana, where they commended what they described as the expeditious actions taken against Dr Beta Edu over alleged misappropriation of N583 million.
The group argued that the principles of impartiality and justice should be strictly followed no matter who is accused until proven innocent or convicted.
The statement reads in part, “The Cross River Young Women in Politics assert our collective demand for justice and equity within the political sphere.
“We express profound concern regarding the discernible bias in dispensing justice and the evident gender disparities prevailing in Nigeria’s political landscape.
“While we commend the expeditious actions taken against Dr. Betta Edu, our esteemed mentor, in response to allegations totaling N583 million, we are confounded by the continued tenure of Minister Bello Matawalle, facing staggering money laundering allegations exceeding N70 billion, without undergoing the requisite investigations.
“This glaring inconsistency raises fundamental questions about the principles of impartiality and justice that should be the bedrock of our nation.
“We urgently call upon President Bola Tinubu to forthwith suspend Bello Matawalle as Minister, and we unequivocally demand the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to reinitiate the investigation into the grave allegations against him.”
The also added that, “The disconcerting reality is that our daughter faces repercussions for a comparatively trivial sum, while Bello Matawalle enjoys unhindered freedom despite facing monumental accusations.
“This exposes a disturbing pattern of gender bias and selective application of justice against women actively engaged in politics.”
However, as part of their demands they gave a two-week ultimatum for the EFCC to commence investigations on the allegations leveled against Matawalle on alleged money laundering.
“We grant the EFCC a stringent two-week ultimatum to recommence investigations into Bello Matawalle’s alleged money laundering activities.
“Failure to comply will prompt us to rally our counterparts in the South South states, orchestrating a peaceful yet substantial protest at all EFCC offices within the region.
“We ardently believe that the standards of justice and fairness applied to the southern part of Nigeria must be equally applicable to the North.
“The time has come for our nation to transcend the shackles of sentiment-driven politics, ushering in an era where justice is impartial, and equality prevails. Enough is enough”, they concluded.