FG Should Be Blamed For EFCC Appointment Saga – Robert Clarke

FG Should Be Blamed For EFCC Appointment Saga - Robert ClarkeVeteran lawyer, Mr Robert Clarke, believes the federal government and not the Senate or the DSS should be blamed for the non-confirmation of Mr Ibrahim Magu as EFCC Chairman.

Speaking on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, Mr Clarke opined that the allegations against Mr Magu, upon which the Senate based its refusal of his nomination must have been known to the executive.

“There is no way DSS will just send a report directly to the Senate” he said, arguing that this information “passed through a conduit pipe created by the executive”.

He wondered why the Executive still went ahead to forward Magu’s name as nominee for the position when it must have received information that put his integrity under questioning.

“At that stage, why did they not hold on, call a meeting and call Magu himself and say ‘look we are going to withdraw your name’?

The Senate’s decision to reject Magu has generated controversy and Clarke believes that the embarrassment could have been avoided if the government had acted on the information and consequently prevented it from reaching the Senate.

He, however, believes that the revelation might not be a valid basis upon which corruption cases handled under Mr Magu’s leadership of the EFCC should be brought into disrepute.

The Senate has come out to say that it has not totally rejected Mr Ibrahim Magu but has only sent documents back to the executive. This Mr Clarke described as a case of “half a dozen and six”.

“Whichever language you use, it amounts to rejection. If I send a paper to you for approval and you say ‘I’m not rejecting your paper but I am not going to approve it. I will send it back to you’, what does that mean?

“It’s just the same thing. They have rejected him; let us be honest about it,” he said.

 

Mutiny: Court Martial Verdict Was Right – Lawyer

MutinyLegal Practitioner, George Ekeh, has disagreed with the view that the Nigerian soldiers recently sentenced to death for Mutiny by a court martial were wrongly tried.

This was in reaction to veteran Lawyer, Femi Falana, who, in an earlier interview, had expressed the opinion that the soldiers, under the Armed Forces Act, should have been tried under Section 52:2.

Ekeh argued that the soldiers were rightly charged under the right section of the constitution – Section 52:1 – which he read during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

He noted that Mutiny has always been a grave offence in the military and these soldiers had been aware of it from the moment they were recruited.

He also took on the insinuations that some of the officers that made up the military court were not legal practitioners and their  judgement could be faulty.

Ekeh emphasized this as an erroneous assumption, stating that many of the officers were qualified lawyers.

He made reference to the recently held Nigerian Bar Association, NBA conference in Owerri, which he said had about 5% of participants attending in the military uniforms.

Ekeh also dismissed the view that the soldiers had feeble representation which might have worked against them. He argued that the most important thing was that the lawyer stood up to plead for mercy on their behalf.

He noted that the court was also working based on evidences and all available evidences must have pointed against the soldiers, a situation which meant that the case was already a bad one.

A Channels Television viewer, however, suggested via social media that Nigeria needs more of its soldiers alive as it battles insurgency and this view Ekeh shared.

Although he maintained that the death sentence was the rightful judgement, he conceded that because of the circumstances of Nigeria being in a state of war, the soldiers could be pardoned.