EFCC under the Leadership of Nuhu Ribadu has been fighting corruption in Nigeria. The zeal shown by Ribadu has won him the support of millions of Nigerians, EFCC has been successful because of the support it got from the previous government. But since the inception of the Yar Adua government and the new Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa , this government support, it will seem, has been withdrawn.
The AG, Michael Aondoakaa, appears to have an agenda against the EFCC. We fear that if he is not removed, he will stifle and kill EFCC the one organisation that has been at the fore of the battle against corruption in Nigeria. All those in support of the EFCC should sign this petition calling for the removal of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa.
Fellow Nigerians and Friends of Nigeria.
Despite the controversy surrounding the election of President Umaru Yar Adua, a lot us had hopes and believed him when he said he will continue the fight against corruption. Barely 3 months into his reign, it will seem that the President was merely paying lip service to the fight against corruption. Untill now EFCC occupied a place of prominence in the polity, Nigerians have come to love what the EFCC and Nuhu Ribadu have been doing. Nigerians at th every least expected that President Yar Adua was going to allow EFCC prosecute the past Governors who looted their states. Instead of fulfilling these hope, President Yar Adua has instead chosen to install as Attorney General and Minister of Justice Michael Aondoakaa. It will interest you to know that Mr Aondoaka was the lead counsel in a case registered as SC 179/2006, instituted at the Supreme Court, Abuja by the Benue State Government in 2006. Aondoakaa as lead counsel made seven requests to the Supreme Court. Some these included the following
· The Supreme Court was also asked to determine whether the National Assembly had not acted against the spirit of Section 214 (1) of the same constitution (establishing the Nigeria Police and forbidding the setting up of any parallel organ in the federation) by setting up the EFCC.
· Benue State wanted the apex court to declare whether the National Assembly did not act illegally by vesting jurisdiction in EFCC, respect criminal matters which are within the constitutional competence of the state government.
This case will be heard by the Supreme Court this October.
Soon after the AG assumed office, Presidency announced that in the light of Section 174 of the Constitution, the EFCC, the ICPC and other law enforcement agencies would only henceforth now institute criminal proceedings after due clearance with the office of the AG of the federation. The Presidency made this announcement even though an earlier Supreme Court ruling (FGN Vs Osahon) had made it clear that the law enforcement agencies can initiate criminal proceedings. Because of public outcry the Presidency beat a hasty retreat by saying the EFCC could still operate as before. Subsequent events were to show that the Presidency lied.
Last week Wednesday was the resumed hearing of the trial of former Governor of Abia Sate Dr Orji Kalu. He has been charged by the EFCC for looting state funds to the tune of N3Billion. It will be recalled that a day after he was granted bail, Kalu was at Aso Rock to confer with President Yar Adua. It was not long after this meeting that the Presidency made the announcement concerning the EFCC. At the resumption of Kalu%u2019s trial, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in the Federal Ministry of Justice showed up in the court of Babs Kuewumi at the Federal High Court Abuja un announced. He invoked Section 174, to take over the Kalu trial from the EFCC. To further add salt to injury, the AG went on to ask EFCC to sack the lawyer that was handling the Orji Kalu case and apologise to him the AG.
The above isvery worrying and the following questions need to be answered by the President.
· Why did he appoint a known enemy of EFCC as AG?
· Was President Yar Adua settling political favours by appointing Aondoaka?
· Whose script is Aondoaka playing out? Whose interest is he out to protect?
We feel that the President at the very least owes Nigerians an explanation. President Yar Adua needs to reassure Nigerians that he is indeed serious about fighting corruption. The President should show his seriousness by sacking Michael Aondoakaa and appointing somebody with integrity as AG. .
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