Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

By Ovie Okpare

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Sunday made a u-turn following the criticism that greeted its support for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo over the N90 billion allegation purportedly used to finance the 2019 general elections.

It clarified that CAN support for the number two man does not amount to exonerating him from prosecution if need be for his alleged involvement in allegation.

The clarification followed anger expressed by many Christians in the country over the body’s declaration of support for the VP on Friday in Abuja.

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CAN had claimed Osinbajo was innocent of the allegation against him.

A former deputy spokesman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and now a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Timi Frank, had accused the VP of allegedly collecting N90 billion from the Federal Inland Revenue (FIRS) to fund the 2019 election.

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The National President of CAN, Rev. Supo Ayokunle, who spoke on Friday after a visit to the Vice President at the Presidential Villa on Friday, vowed to mobilise Christians against any act to destroy the works of the Vice President.

But in a statement signed by the Special Assistant (Media &Communications) to Rev. Samson Ayokunle , Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, debunked allegation that it was trying to protect the VP from tried for alleged wrong doing.

The statement said ‘CAN does not endorse corruption’ and it had not exonerated Osinbajo of the allegation against him.

It said anyone accused of corruption is expected to prove his/her innocence in the court, adding that its visit to the Vice President was to hear from him on the issue before reacting.

According to him: “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.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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.”


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