Member of the Yoruba socio-political group Afenifere Pa Ayo Adebanjo has declared support for the fight against corruption but maintained that the rule of law must be followed in the fight.
“Well, everybody supports the effort to stem corruption and, as a democrat and one of those who fought for democracy in real terms, I want corruption to be fought in a holistic manner and not at the expense of the rule of law,” he told Vanguard in an interview.
“Holistic manner in the sense of no sacred cows, everybody must be seen to be fair and non-partisan. The corruption in this country is not something we can link to one party or one man. It is general, including the civil service and Muhammadu Buhari has the personality to do it if he wants to. But the impression we have about the way he is doing it now is that he is after his opponents; maybe some of the suspects are corrupt, but the way he is flouting court orders, am not happy about that. It could be because I am a lawyer, or I am a strong advocate of the rule of law or maybe because not obeying court orders was one of the reasons I gave against his election. And at that time, people told me that he does not obey the rule of law during his first time because that was military regime, but now he is under democracy and I said OK. Even when he was sworn in too, during his acceptance speech, it was clearly stated there, “I will obey the rule of law”, but that has not happened,” Adebanjo pointed out.
“… it appears he is partisan, because all those that are being accused now are from the opposition and we also know that, among his people, there are people there who are also corrupt. But what do you say about those who would ask the question “did they do it or not”? All those he is accusing now, have they been found guilty? What he said before was that anybody with a case of corruption, he will not have him in his cabinet and you and I know that a lot of people who have been accused of corruption are in his cabinet. But he said they have not been found guilty before any court of law. Well, if that is the basis, then that should also apply to everybody.
“So, I want to take up the question that he has to start somewhere. He must start somewhere, but let him start two here, two there and not hunting for those who opposed him during the election. I am fully in support of the anti-graft war, but it should be fair. Anybody who is found guilty should be made to face the consequences and not because somebody opposed you and it should be done in a manner that is constitutionally right,” Adebanjo said.