· Says FG won’t get results with due process
· Courts will decide Dasuki’s fate, Presidency replies Jonathan
Amid criticisms of the Federal Government’s extrajudicial approach to its war against graft in the country, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has declared that President Muhammadu Buhari will not adhere to the rule of law in bringing suspects to book.
The party asserted that subscribing to due process in the prosecution of the anti-corruption crusade will not yield the desired results.
According to the APC, “the so-called observance of rule of law has left Nigeria in a situation where corruption has thrived and because looters of the treasury can simply go to court and obtain an injunction in the name of rule of law, the polity has been messed up.”
In an interaction with some journalists on Wednesday in Abuja, the APC Deputy National Chairman (South), Mr. Segun Oni, ruled out the possibility of the government adhering to the rule of law in the raging fight against corruption.
Oni argued that the APC could end up achieving nothing like other administrations in the name of respecting the rule of law, adding that if the “rule of law is left to be what it is in the case of fighting corruption, nothing will be achieved and people will continue to plunge the country into more economic crisis.
“If the rule of law is left to be what it is and nothing is happening, if you leave this war in the hands of people who would not be able to prosecute it, it means we give up and God forbid that we should fail. People are talking about the rule of law and so on; how much have we achieved by the rule of law?
Are they saying there is no corruption? If there is corruption, what has been done to stop it? Or we should now say we cannot stop it and therefore we should institutionalise it? At one stage, there must be a stop.
“During Jerry Rawlings’s tenure in Ghana, he applied a measure; God forbid that in Nigeria, we should leave things until people get so frustrated. Things cannot continue the way they are; everybody knows corrupt people, but everybody is keeping his/her voice low. Don’t lawyers know corrupt judges? Don’t judges also know corrupt lawyers? If the system within the judiciary is unable to deal with this, so nobody should talk?” he said.
Oni continued: “If the situation is not checked, people would get so frustrated to the point of coming out in arms against the whole system and God forbid. So, what we are trying to do now is to prevent the alternative, which is the collapse of the whole system. If the National Judicial Council (NJC) had been able to deal with the issue of corruption decisively to earn the confidence of Nigerians, I am sure this approach would probably not be necessary.
“I want to see how Nigerian judges or Nigerian lawyers or Nigerian practitioners of anything can raise their hands and say, there is no corruption. Nobody has defended the system so far, even the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) has not defended the system to say there is no corruption. What people are talking about is how we are going about it. Let them come up with alternative ways of achieving that. Once they tell us, ‘Mr. President, you don’t have to do what you are doing, we assure you, we will fish out all corrupt people in the system within six months, give us this time’; then there would be no need for any extra measures,” Oni declared.
He said that it was only APC members who lost out in the party’s affairs that are meeting for alignment with rumours of formation of a political party, adding that the ruling party would wish them good luck in their endeavours.
Courts will decide Dasuki’s fate
Meanwhile, the Presidency has said that only a competent court can decide if former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd) stole $2.2 billion voted for arms by the immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan.
In a statement released late Tuesday, the Presidency urged Jonathan, who on Monday absolved Dasuki of stealing such money, to allow the courts to decide the fate of the ex-NSA.
During a debate on youth entrepreneurship at the Oxford Union Society in England, Jonathan, who defended his administration’s policies, said that Dasuki couldn’t have stolen a whopping $2.2 billion.
But the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said that Jonathan’s comments were sub-judicial because the matter was already before courts of competent jurisdiction.