Lagos lawyer, Ebun Adegboruwa has advised that President Muhammadu Buhari be properly advised on human rights issues amid the ongoing anti-corruption crusade so that he is not accused of vendetta.
“During the campaign, a documentary was aired on AIT which some people considered offensive. The PDP, through its spokesperson, hammered Buhari. So, when I saw Raymond Dokpesi in court, I have an idea why he is being tried even though there are allegations against him. I saw the PDP spokesman in court and I understand why. I also understand that in 1985 when there was a coup against Buhari, some officers played prominent roles then and one of them is Dasuki; so I saw him in court and I have an idea why. After Ayo Fayose’s tenure as governor of Ekiti, I expect to see him in the EFCC office. So, people raise the issue of vendetta. We must advise the President correctly,” Adegboruwa said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Friday.
He continued: “I cannot understand why people are saying human rights must be subsumed under a war against corruption. We cannot say that people will no longer be granted bail because they are facing corruption charges. Corruption trial, terrorism trial will come under human rights. Felony is a bailable offence.
“Section 36 of the Constitution says people are presumed innocent until proven guilty so you cannot just keep people in detention. And the reason is that if the man is found not to be guilty, he would have suffered for an offence he was not guilty of. So you allow him that presumption.
“Look at the case of Dasuki. J. B. Daudu is standing for him. He has been the eye of the law in this country. He was the President of the NBA. Why should any reasonable person expect or think that Daudu would encourage his client to jump bail, knowing the consequences?
“It seems we are being hypnotised with this anti-corruption war. Look at the high-profile cases and all you hear are stories about bail or no bail and EFCC arresting this and that but when you get to the real trial you don’t get to hear anything because it would seem the proper investigation has not been done. That is what some of us have been saying and that is what we want reversed – encourage the EFCC operatives to conduct proper investigation. Look, there is nothing in bail. The real deal is when you march your suspects to court and confront them with hard facts.
“But when the issue is all about vendetta, ‘oh, he’s the spokesperson of the PDP, let’s put him in handcuffs and humiliate him’, you might not get anywhere. This was a man you arrested in his house and he did not resist arrest. What is going on is not trial,” Adegboruwa said.
The lawyer reminded Nigerians that Buhari’s campaign was hinged on the fight against corruption and since he came to power, “that has been our national anthem”. “You wake up in the morning, it is anti-corruption, you go to the toilet, you evacuate anti-corruption and it has now become the only song we hear and it seems to have become a distraction.
“We support the war against corruption because it has eaten deep into almost every facet of our national life. In the judiciary, an emergency should be declared because what is going on there is not normal. If you really want to fight corruption, the gateway to that battle is the judiciary because the President cannot fight corruption.
“When you talk about fighting corruption, you’re talking about the Office of the Attorney General and the courts and the statutory law enforcement agencies like the ICPC and EFCC, but, if you can follow me to the offices of some of these agencies, you will discover that we are not serious about fighting corruption.
“In the EFCC office in Lagos, for instance, there are no tables; no electricity; the operatives I’ve met several times using their personal stationeries, personal computers to conduct investigations.
“You may want to find out why high-profile cases collapse in court.
“Manpower is not enough. There is no method of research to properly investigate a corruption case.
“Let me tell you what they do: When you get a Yahoo-Yahoo (Advance Fee Fraudster) person, an ordinary person who has no money, you beat him up, hang him, get confessional statement from him; and the next day he is in court; he has been so intimidated and battered and he has no lawyer. In a week’s time, the case is done away with and you get a conviction,” Adegboruwa lamented.