OPEN LETTER: URGENT CALL FOR THE REMOVAL THOSE WITH CORRUPT PROCLIVITY IN THE RECENTLY CONSTITUTED COMMITTEE TO TRY LOOTERS
October 6, 2017
Justice Walter S. Nkanu Onnoghen GCON
Chief Justice of Nigeria
Chief Justice of Nigeria
Supreme Court of Nigeria
Three Arms Zone
URGENT CALL FOR THE REMOVAL THOSE WITH CORRUPT PROCLIVITY IN THE RECENTLY CONSTITUTED COMMITTEE TO TRY LOOTERS
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL welcomes the decision of the National Judicial Council, NJC to constitute a committee dedicated to the trying of looters of the commonwealth of Nigerians.
Sir, our organization, was up till December 28, 2016 known as Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders. An aggregate of human rights; community based, civil society organisations and individuals with anti-corruption and openness in governance agenda across Nigeria. It is a non-political, non-religious, non-sectarian, non-profit organisation.
We find it pertinent to call on you and your honourable office to reconsider the appropriateness of some members of the recently constituted committee by NJC on trying the looters of our commonwealth based on their apparent corrupt antecedents.
We are convinced that with the task before the said committee and the sensitivity of it, the NJC ought to constitute the body with people of impeccable credentials in terms of incorruptibility and glaring integrity.
As an organization that has been following the efforts of your Lordship particularly the recent positions being put forward by you against the behemoth called corruption and we believe it is imperative to forestall whatever will frustrate your noble intentions.
Justice Ayo Salami and people like Olisa Agbakoba are good nominees because of their track records in public space for the committee but one cannot say the same about some other persons basically because they apparently have baggage of corrupt practices. There are some lawyers on the committee who have clearly demonstrated that as long as they get their ‘fat briefs’, the learned fellows would defend the corruption cases against their clients. Morally and ethically, Lawyers like Wole Olanipekun, SAN, and J B Dauda, SAN have no business being on the committee based on their antecedents of defending suspected corruption criminals.
Your Lordship, the lawyers we are talking about have been persistent in defending suspected corruption criminals and helping looters with the benefit of their knowledge of law to wriggle through the lacunae to escape justice. Their regular justification has always been “we are only doing our work”.
It is against the foregoing that we are urging you not to take the risk of allowing people who are corrupt or have allegations of corruption that can distort your good intentions on the committee. We believe that the present government’s efforts on anti-corruption have its gains that are commendable and with judiciary rising to the occasion, we can end the repeated starts we have been making at excising corruption from our country.
Lastly, your Lordship, we call for a thorough and clinical screening on all the members of the committee to establish, and made public, their true qualifications upon which they are so trusted to be on such a quintessential body. The judiciary remains the last hope of the common people; in a situation where the Judiciary can longer serve the purpose of its creation, it becomes anachronistic, useless, and self-help is becomes the only hope, which is a recipe for anarchy.
Long Live, Nigeria!
Yours in service to humanity,
Executive Chairman, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL