Nigeria’s Anti-Graft War: Buhari & Falana disrespecting court
By Odimegwu Onwumere
A Nigerian writer, Odimegwu Onwumere has taken on President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, and human rights lawyer Femi Falana, saying the president and the lawyer have been acting in breach of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, in the prosecution of the anti corruption war.
AT different fora, President Muhammadu Buhari and a prominent human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said treasury looters and corrupt persons facing charges before the court do not deserve bail.
Falana made his statement as the keynote speaker on Thursday, March 31 2016, while delivering a paper titled “Rule of Law and Treatment of Politically-exposed Corruption Cases” delivered on his behalf by Mr. Wahab Shittu at the seminar on anti-corruption war summoned by the Department of Jurisprudence and International Law, University of Lagos.
He also made a case of the creation of special courts to enable Buhari end this war well before the 2019 elections.
In one of his presidential media chats, Buhari said government was not prepared to release from detention the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra and Director of the Europe Based Radio Biafra Mr. Nnamdi Kanu for alleged treason, and former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, a retired Army Colonel, who is facing corruption charges
The Punch of April 1, 2016, however captured Falana this way, “Since victims of grand corruption including armed robbery and kidnap suspects are not usually admitted to bail, those who are charged with looting the treasury should no longer be granted bail.”
Same day Daily Post, quoted Buhari as saying, “Dasuki, who is presently in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), has multiple cases in court, which he must diligently face and answer. Nnamdi Kanu has committed a serious offence and therefore government is not prepared to release him based on the numerous bail orders handed down by the different courts''.
It appears, government under Buhari, a former military dictator, has devised some incongruous means of frustrating the duo from enjoying bail orders.
Comments Spark Rebuttals
Emmanuel Onwubiko, Head, Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA), Nigeria, intervened in one of his media chats, saying that those who said that corrupt persons in detention do not have a right for bail, were murderers of the position of the Constitution.
Hence, Onwubiko quoted the comments made by the Senior Advocates of Nigeria, saying the right of accused persons to counsel of their choice and the Duty of Lawyers to defend their clients without Fear or discrimination: