The Executive Chairman of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, at an interview session with the media, has reacted to the withdrawal of the forgery charges against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and his Deputy by the Federal government. The move represents an embarrassment to the anti-corruption drive and its crusaders who have cheered the government on the crackdown on corrupt public officials and other persons found culpable in sharp practices thus far in the view of the foremost anti-corruption crusader.
Adeniran posited that there are political undertones to the forgery charges; he opined that if there were no political undertones to the forgery cases against Saraki and his deputy, then they should have been willing to prove their innocence judicially and they can in turn sue the government for defamation of character and other damages if found not-guilty.
“It leaves a lot of doubts in the minds of the majority in terms of what could happen to the pending corruption cases against Bukola Saraki with the withdrawal of the criminals charges bordering on forgery leveled against him by the Federal government. Most people expected the present government would do things differently and that the days of ‘nulle prosecute’ would be over where politically exposed persons indicted for corruption charges are concerned. It is indeed a negative signal.” He said
With regard to the DSS arrest of some suspected Judges, the CACOL Leader believes that this was one of the very strong reasons the people voted for the ‘change manifesto’ because it was expected for the Buhari administration to do things differently from the last administration.
“There is nobody that is above the law, even the President, his Deputy and governors’ immunity lapse when they leave office. There is absolutely no part of the constitution that bestows immunity from investigations, probes, arrests and prosecution on Judges! All the hue and cry from quarters only panders corruption at the end fundamentally. The DSS had explained that what it carried out was a ‘sting operation’, it means the operation was under-cover, discreet or clandestine, that is what people need to understand.”
On procedure, method and rule of law in relation to the arrest, Adeniran stated, “Section 149 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) permits the law enforcement agencies to employ the manner of approach they did to arrest those allegedly corrupt judges.”
He also noted that the worse scenario for democratic principles, norms and values is a situation whereby the judiciary cannot be relied upon to deliver justice. “There are no gains in a democracy that allow corruption to fester.” He affirmed
Media Coordinator, CACOL
October 12, 2016