Constitutional Lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome has said that the decision of the Code of Conduct Tribunal in its judgment to discharge Senate President, Bukola Saraki of all 18 count charge preferred against him by the federal government in the false asset declaration saga was the right thing to do
He stated that the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC), which had been giving vindictive legal advice to the Executive to denigrate innocent citizens of the country as the bane of government in its anti-corruption war.
In a statement entitled “The Discharge and Acquittal of Saraki by the CCT: The Judiciary as the Last Hope of the Common Man”, Chief Ozekhome said, “The Code of conduct tribunal headed by Mr. Danladi Umar (not Justice Umar, as always erroneously reported), was bold, courageous and right, inspite of visible executive interference and manipulation, to have discharged and acquitted Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on all the counts of false declaration of assets leveled against him.
“EFCC; where is thy much trumpeted media trial of cases, dramatic hype and conviction of suspects on the pages of newspapers and social media, leading the country to now?
“PACAC (Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption”, where has your bare knuckles, warped and puerile “legal advice” to the vindictive Executive to denigrate and humiliate otherwise innocent opponents and opposition of government led it to?
“You have actually done more harm and damage to the so called anti -corruption “war” than all the vampires and barbaric, primitive accumulators of our national wealth and common patrimony joined together.
“Through your un-researched and myopic stance, the government has serially lost cases.
“Rather than put your “Fuji House of Commotion” in order, you always shamelessly declare that “corruption is fighting back” and that the courts are against the anti-corruption fight, as if the courts owe the Executive a sacred duty and obligation to help it trample on citizens ‘rights and win badly prepared and lousily prosecuted cases at all cost.
“I had predicted last year, on television and my two weekly columns in the Sun and Telegraph newspapers, after a calm reading of daily media reports of the case that Saraki will win, be discharged and acquitted.
“This Nostradamic prediction was anchored simply on the premises that no scintilla of evidence was being led by any of the four prosecution witnesses to prove the legal ingredients of the alleged false declaration of assets by Saraki.
“Rather, what we saw from the EFCC stable as usual, was the usual Baba Sala’ Alawada Kerikeri’s Odeon histrionics and sensational media hype of Saraki receiving humongous pension from Kwara State government, whilst simultaneously receiving salary from NASS; of Saraki taking loans to buy many properties; of Saraki owning many assets, etc.
“How did these prove specific declaration of assets? No attempt was made by the EFCC to prove the essential ingredients of false declaration. I was laughing. I am still laughing.
“Corruption, a very corrosive and ravaging cancer that has virtually destroyed the weak fabric of our society cannot be defeated outside observance of the rule of law and by trampling on citizens’ rights and cherished freedoms.
“The fight is not mutually exclusive from due observance of our collective and individual freedom’s and liberties.
“Those still buying into the crude and bestial way it has so far been fought should take time out to read chapter 4 of the Nigerian Constitution.
“They should go and read the immortal words of Mark Niemoller in 1946: “first, they came for the Jews and I did not speak because I was not a Jew; then they came for……”
Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, Constitutional Lawyer and Human Rights Activist.
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