One of the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), has described as a ‘lie on the dead’ comments attributed to a former governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.
Alamieyeseigha was quoted by London-based NewsAfrica magazine in April as saying that the state pardon recently granted him by President Goodluck Jonathan was part of the plea bargain reached between him and late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
He said, “My own part of the plea bargain was to convince the militants to accept the FG’s amnesty and I have not stopped ever since. The country owes the peace in the Niger Delta partly to my efforts. Till today, every day, I get one report or the other and I intervene because they all see me as their father, leader and governor-general.
“This pardon did not start from President Goodluck Jonathan. It was part of the agreement with the Yar’Adua government because he knew the story from the beginning. He was just carrying out part of an existing agreement” he stressed.
But in his reaction, Jacobs, who has prosecuted corruption cases on behalf of the anti-graft agency said Alamieyeseigha could make the claim because he knew that the dead have no right of reply.
“It is easy to lie on the dead. Someone who is dead has no right of reply. What I know is that there was no such provision for Alamieyeseigha in our records.
“He applied for plea bargaining, which meant that he accepted that he was guilty as charged and he agreed to serve a lesser punishment from what he actually deserved. It is a way of escape as practised all over the world.
“But that is how much a plea bargain affords under the law. Nobody envisaged pardon for corruption charges. It is not moral.”
Jacobs further added that in all the meetings held over the case of corruption levelled against Alamieyeseigha, he could not recall any time a state pardon was mooted for the ex-convict except if it was agreed in a private arrangement with the late President.