Activist lawyer, Ebun Adegboruwa has slammed the ongoing war against corruption in Nigeria, stating that Nigerians have been hypnotised by President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft mantra.
It will be recalled that the Lagos-based lawyer was the first to challenge attempts to stop Buhari from running in the presidential election in 2015 over issues of non-possession of a valid school certificate, a requirement to run for office of president in Nigeria.
Speaking weekend, the outspoken lawyer said what is going on was a selective persecution of some people that the president considers adversaries during the electioneering.
“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. 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.”
According to him, “the real deal is when you march your suspects to court and confront them with hard facts. In one high profile case here in Lagos, bail became the main issue and people were coming to court in ‘Aso Ebi’. Keyamo, standing for EFCC, said ‘grant the man bail on self-recognisance and I will face the trial proper. He got a conviction here in Lagos until the Supreme Court upturned the verdict years after.
“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.”