President Jonathan Violated Code of Conduct Act in Accepting Gift from Gitto
President Jonathan has come under fire from anti-corruption watchdogs for accepting a gift from a major construction company, Gitto Costruzioni Generali Nigeria Ltd. Gitto is an Italian owned company that grew from marble supply in the late 80’s and early 90’s to become one of the leading construction companies in Nigeria.
The company enjoys lucrative construction contracts from some State governments, and the Federal Government.
Recently, President Jonathan accepted a 2,500 capacity church building, built by Gitto, in his village Otuoke in Bayelsa. The company donated the ultra-modern church to the President’s village on behalf of the President.
In his acceptance, the President violated Section 6 of the Code of Conduct for Public officers embodied in the First Schedule of the 1999 Constitution and the Code of Conduct and Tribunal Act (CAP C15) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The Act states, “A public officer shall not ask for or accept any property or benefits of any kind for himself or any other person on account of anything done or omitted to be done by him in the discharge of his duties. For the purposes of subsection (1) of this subsection, the receipt by a public officer of any gifts or benefits from commercial firms, business enterprises or persons who have CONTRACTS (emphasis ours) with the Government shall be presumed to have been received in contravention…unless the contrary is proved.”
Gitto construction is a company stained with controversies in the areas it operates, it is facing allegations of destroying properties in Eket (Akwa Ibom) without compensating the property owners, as well as abandoning the Bodo-Bonny road in Bayelsa.
Also, only recently a group of lawmakers in the National Assembly have called on President Jonathan to review the N 58.6 billion contract awarded Gitto for the Second Niger bridge. All these developments are fueling speculations that the church was built in order to give Gitto construction a smooth landing as the President reviews their contracts.