Anti corruption advocacy group, HEDA, has raised concern over what it described as a charade between the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Justice and an online newspaper on the subject matter of its petition filed with the office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in his capacity as Chairman of the Federal Government’s Presidential Committee on Assets Recovery.
That Committee, under the instructions of the President, coordinates the government’s activities through the Ministry of Justice in the recovery of stolen assets, including the OPL 245.
Recognizing the negative implications of this unpatriotic action of the Ministry of Justice on several legal actions of EFCC against the suspects in the Malabu heist in Nigeria and those actions being taken by Nigeria in Milan and the United Kingdom, and as a critical player in those cases, we consciously alerted the Government to the developments.
Sina Odugbemi, Programme Manager For HEDA in a statement said, “Our partners had earlier written to Mr Malami to express similar concern as they were working on the assumption that the AGF should have national interest on his mind. We also wrote to the Vice President in order to place on record that HEDA and its partners are free of any blame when the consequences of this high wired sabotage do manifest as it sure would.
“In pursuing this malicious prosecution, Adoke and Malami have provoked ridicule at home and abroad, jeopardizing President Buhari’s well earned reputation for fighting corruption. Mr Suraju has done no more than repeat statements made by the FRN’s lawyers on behalf of the President as Head of State. These statements will be presented to the court, along with other evidence that the FRN has submitted to the courts in Milan documenting the links between Adoke and Aliyu Abubakar and showing payments to adoke that the Milan court has ruled came from the OPL 245 deal.”
Odugbemi, said HEDA and its international partners have supported, facilitated and contributed immensely to this recovery process, which the Ministry of Justice, in the past, was genuinely committed to, but has suddenly switched camp and has been devising several strategies of sabotaging.
This latest publication by the online newspaper is not surprising in a catalogue of show of shame by a discredited media outlet, he said adding that the platform has suddenly become the bailiff serving notice of charges via social media and communicating arraignment date in this matter. It is surprising that the cable is not concerned how a petition of forgery by Adoke all of a sudden is going to court as cyber stalking.
This Ministry of Justice, under Mr. Malami, has consciously debased our administration of justice system to a level worse than that of a banana republic.
The public would recollect that the charges against the Chairman of HEDA were made public and brought to the notice of the organisation not through the court, but publication of same in the Cable and which was synchronized through other media houses. As at the time of this release, more than a month after, Mr. Suraju is yet to be served with that process officially.
.The attempt by the publication to create an impression of seeking the intervention of the Vice President is unfortunate, pathetic and sad to say the least. For the records, HEDA and Mr. Suraju fervently look forward to this trial in court to defend ourselves against these spurious allegations and expose the evil being done to Nigeria by some vampires. We shall put up a robust and courageous defense to the admiration and pride of all patriots and true friends of Nigeria, but to the shock and disgrace of all predators and enemies of Nigeria in and out of office who are sorely bent on bleeding the country to death.
We shall continue to torment the enemies of the country till they either repent or are brought to book.” added Odugbemi.