War Against Corruption Attention Seems To Be Vendetta – Olu-Adegboruwa

Channels Television  
Updated January 22, 2016

Ebun-Olu-AdegboruwaA lawyer, Mr Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa, says the war on corruption ongoing in Nigeria seems to be more of vendetta than it is of a desire to prosecute corrupt individuals.

He listed some persons standing trial – Sambo Dasuku and olisa Metuh – who he said had issues with the ruling party or President Muhammadu Buhari in the past, to back his opinion.

On Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Friday, the lawyer stressed that he had no grievance against the war on corruption or the administration of President Buhari, but insisted that the rights of Nigerians must be respected as enshrined in the constitution.

“Goalpost Of Justice”

“There seem to be some vendetta. We must advise the president correctly because we must face national lives.

“I cannot accept that human rights be subsumed under a war for corruption. To say that people will no longer be granted bail in Nigeria because they are facing corruption charges.

“If you look at the country, we are blessed as we are, with the President that we have. Well trained, disciplined, a devout Muslim who fears God and with a Vice President that is a professor of law, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a pastor in the Redeem Christian Church of God who rose to the highest rank of Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and revolutionise the judicial system in Lagos during his tenure.

“We cannot because we have ad-hoc in government we should shift the goalpost of justice,” he stressed.

Mr Olu-Adegboruwa also emphasised that the anti-graft agencies should not be used as a political device to witch-hunt the opponent, saying it will be to the detriment of other existing agencies of law enforcement like the police

He was of the opinion that the Police was the most effective agency to fight corruption because they were more spread across the country.

“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is just in Lagos and Abuja.

“Anti-corruption fight seems to be a distraction.

“Corruption is not just on stealing money. It is in abuse of office. It happens on the table of the civil servant, National Assembly and other places.

“If you say you want to fight corruption as a major programme it will be at the detriment of development of infrastructure.

“If that is the only attention you have and that is what is going on now. We don’t hear stories about what we doing to tackle blackouts, tackle the rot in the educational system the judiciary, where we need to declare a state of emergency.

“I have no objection to talking about it or taking steps towards addressing it but if you really want to fight corruption, the gateway to that is the judiciary,” the lawyer said.

On the ability of the anti-graft agencies to prosecute the war on corruption, he said that a look at the agencies handling the fight against corruption showed that there was no serious war going on.

“EFCC operatives that I have met are using their personal computers to conduct investigation.

“Why are the high profile cases collapsing in court? There is no enough manpower to go round all the corruption cases. There is no facility or method of research or investigation to come up with hard facts that will enable you to nail a high profile case.

But when you catch a Yahoo-Yahoo man [scammer] or an ordinary person who has no money or relatives, you take him to the EFCC office and beat him up or hang him and you get a confessional statement from him and the next day he is in court, intimidated and battered, the next week you get a conviction.

“But when it is a high profile case with someone with resources. He goes to court with senior advocates who will tear the charges brought by anti-grant agencies to shreds. The EFCC will reduce the charges until the case will be struck out,” he explained, insisting that the anti-graft agencies should be empowered more.

Deliberately Silencing The Judiciary

The lawyer also stressed the need for the judiciary to be independent, saying that at the moment, the judiciary is still under the control of the executive arm of government.

“The executive is in control of the judiciary in terms of funding and when the Judiciary has no independence as to its funding there is no independence.

“We run a state where the executive is deliberately silencing the judiciary with lack of funding to ensure that all its illegal actions are not properly challenged,” he added.