The Lagos Federal High Court was recently in the spotlight as the court rejected the plea to unfreeze the assets of Kola Aluko and Jide Omokore. Early this year, the two businessmen were alleged to have been accomplices to Mrs. Allison Diezanni-Madueke, a former Minister of Petroleum in a money laundering case under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
According to reports, Kola Aluko and Jide Omokore sought to overturn a court injunction permitting the anti-graft agency to freeze the assets of the two businessmen both within and outside the country. The duo was sued by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for an alleged debt of $1.8bn.
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) through its Executive Chairman Mr. Debo Adeniran stated that “in fighting corruption we must realize that the incurably corrupt amongst us will shamelessly oppose and fight back. Therefore we must be eternally vigilant and prepared to counter their counter-attacks so that plunderers of resources who are hell-bent on imposing their immoral and criminal ways on our collective existence will not achieve their goal, which is to keep us in permanent deprivation.”
The court rejected the plea of the defendants until a verdict is reached on the other charges levied on them. Mr. Debo Adeniran asserts that ‘’the synergy between the Judiciary and the anti-graft Agencies would be vital to the war against corruption. It is important that the anti-graft Agencies, the Judiciary and most importantly the Federal Government, continue to work together to ensure that corruption criminals don’t escape the hands of justice”.
“Corruption is a virus that would fight back and it is imperative that the anti-graft and law enforcement agencies are thorough in blocking every of its advances. As long as every step taken is within the ambit of the laws of the land, all suspected funds found in anybody’s account should be frozen until thorough investigations and validations of the source of such funds vis-à-vis the legitimacy establish no criminal culpability.”
“There is no reason why anyone who is confident that his or her source of wealth is legitimate would be running to the court to seek injunction from being put under the magnifying glasses of the constitutionally empowered Agencies to do so. It only makes such a person’s situation more suspicious; after all, if nothing is found to be illegitimate, the funds will be unfrozen and the court would even have to award damages in favour of the person’s whose funds were frozen.”
“Therefore all hands must be on the deck; the three arms of government, the anti-corruption and law enforcement Agencies, the civil society and all right thinking Nigerians must work together to ensure that the corrupt do not continue to escape justice. That is how we can collectively deter corruption in our country.” Adeniran concluded.
Media Coordinator, CACOL
October 8, 2016
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