Sunday, September 13, 2009

"Attorney-General of the Federation, Michael Aondoakaa and the Three Thieves"

The recent events of the last few days left me wondering about the actual role of Michael Aondoakaa, the nation’s Attorney-General. For me, it is either someone failed to provide him with his job description when he was appointed as the A-G or he just loves been an usurper. It is no more news that the Federal Government has rejected a request by Britain for release of evidence needed for further investigation and prosecution of three Nigerian ex-governors in a London court for money-laundering. These formers Governors were alleged to have laundered proceeds from the sale of V-mobile shares - bought with government funds -  through private accounts in the United Kingdom. What is news however is the audacious move by the A-G to announce that none of the former Governors is currently investigation. According to the A-G, the Governors were investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) but were exonerated of committing any crime in January 2009. But in a swift response, the EFCC, through its Media Adviser refuted the claims that the former Governors have been cleared of financial wrongdoings. According to the EFCC “The letter being referred to in these reports have no specific impact or reference to the cases of the three former governors as it was only an advice to a bank on the operation of a company’s account and as such cannot speak for substantive cases being investigated.

The situation now seems to have hit a stalemate. We have the A-G on one hand saying that former Governors have no case to answer. But on the other hand, we have the bullish EFCC denying that’s the case. So who do we believe?

Many will agree that Nigeria has now turned into a theatre of comedy, and the current movie on the red-carpet is “anti-corruption”. Two weeks ago, it was “Sanusi and the Banking five”. Now it is “Michael Aondoakaa, and the three thieves”. These comedians have become a very useful tool in providing the much desired distraction that Abuja politicians need. While tickets to these blockbuster comedies are sold in front pages of the newspaper, President Umaru Yar’Adua continues to have field day in Aso Rock doing nothing.

The biggest clown on the centre stage for now is no one else but the nation’s Attorney-General Michael Aondoakaa. The A-G reminds of our good old friend, the Late Alhaji Wada Nas, the Minister for Special Duties (whatever that means!) during the Abacha regime. Alhaji Wada Nas, was the “Chief Propagandist” for the Military Junta. He became a regular feature of Nigerian media headlines; the political pot of Nigeria at that time was so hot and smoking with such issues as the June 12 elections, Human rights abuses, Abacha’s self succession bid among other issues. He was always ready to take on debate to defend the government’s policies and approach to challenging situations facing Abacha’s regime, even these policies clearly devoid of common sense. But anyway, it wasn’t too long before Wada Nas became Wada “Nonsense”.

The A-G so far has been displaying the same character as that of the Late Alhaji Was Nas, He has been spewing out as much nonsense as Nas did, if not more. However the difference is that, while A-G has been using the ‘ruse of law” to rationalise his actions, Wada Nas wasn’t that clever. But really, for any military regime to acknowledge the “rule of law” is like shooting itself in the foot. Michael Aondoakaa is perhaps, the most pathetic and inept Attorney-General my generation as witnessed. I can’t help but question every time why and how he was awarded a Senior Advocate of Nigeria status. Aonodakaa is a disgrace to the National Judicial Council. If this is the type of people been awarded SAN, then I’m sorry to say that a great disservice has been done to the likes of Late Rotimi Williams, Graham- Douglas and Gani Fawehinmi. If Aondoakaa is what a SAN is all about, then I think every law graduate should be awarded one.

We need to ask the A-G when he became an investigator, prosecutor and adjudicator. We also need to know if, he is the “Attorney-General of the Federation” or Attorney-General of corrupt former Governors. Why can’t he just allow the law to take its cause? If he feels he has nothing to hide on behalf of the accused Governors, then let him provide the evidence requested by the British authorities. The fact is, the British authorities have no pronounced these Governors guilty. They have only been charged to court. So why not let them defend themselves, instead of acting as their solicitor and advocate.

And what does he mean by saying “that the proper place to prosecute the alleged offence is Nigeria because the ingredients of all the offence investigated were committed in Nigeria and that all the accused persons reside in Nigeria”. Yes the crime was committed in Nigeria, but if money from the sales of V-Mobile shares were actually transferred to a UK account, then a crime has been committed in the UK. Does the A-G know about the United Kingdom Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 at all? It doesn’t matter if the Nigeria authorities are not interested in pursuing the case. The UK law is no respecter of any individual or group of people The A-G should allow these individuals defend the allegations levelled against them.

It is also disgraceful and absurd that the A-G can descend so low to accuse the former EFCC boss Mallam Nuhu Ribadu of been the mastermind behind the British prosecution. What does he think the Metropolitan Police is? An appendage of Downing Street, or a section within the Justice Department, that can just be manipulated willy-nilly like he does with the EFCC and Nigeria Police Force. I’m happy that Mallam Ribadu has come out openly to deny these claims. Let’s even assume Ribadu is conspiring with British authorities. But how does that represent a treasonable offence? How can a man who has taken it upon himself to carry on with the anti-corruption crusade regardless of his official status be charged with treason? When did anti-corruption crusade become a treasonable offence? If Ribadu is charged with treason, the A-G deserves to face a firing squad for his recent actions. Also, what does the A-G consider as the nation’s interest? Is he saying that writing letter of support for corrupt former governors to shield them from prosecution is in national interest? Or is the use of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty to thwart corruption cases is in national interest.

If the A-G is really interested in fighting the nation’s interest then there are few tasks he could spend his time on. He could use his office to expedite the proposed electoral reform. Also, there are hundreds of Nigerians on death row in Libya who will love to be defended by the “Chief Law Officer”.


Dejidon said...

Well said. It is shameful and extremely annoying the calibre of people ruling us in this country with their very low IQ's. They should all be shot!!

Isioma said...

Aondoaaka is a mad man, one marked by the gods for destruction. Absolutely nothing good can come out of him. He was nominated by Ibori and his ilk for the office of Attorney General, so it follows that he will be Attorney General of the thieves and not of the Country. Now it seems like he and his beloved sister Farida have parted ways. This may all be part of a home video, but time will tell. Aondoaaka is a disgrace to the legal profession and mostly to the body of Senior Advocates, he makes a mockery of the whole thing. I can't accept the fact that when people like the Late Gani Fawehinmi and our own beloved Babatunde Fashola are referred to as Senior Advocates, he too go answer SAN. Tufiakwa! Its up to the NBA and the NJC to act fast and stop this mad man from further dragging the profession in mud.

Akin said...

Aondoakaa has brought more disrepute to this present administration and further rubbished our seriousness as a nation by his past and recent actions. I wondered what kind of man this is. His ignominous role in the Federal Govt letter to Lagos State Gov on Local govts is still fresh in our memories and now this shameful conduct of advocating and defending corrupt past governors.

With men like Aondoakaa at the helms of affair, and a major actor in the Yar'adua government, the battle aginst corruption and impunity will be absolutely lost;whilst the quest for Rule of law will remain in the realms of lip service.

He is indeed an apology to this nation and a sad example for that matter. It's pathethic!

Anonymous said...

Its a shame and a prove lack of credibilty the PDP have again shown to nigerians and the rest of the world by the fruits they have produced.The nations A-G is wack

Seyi said...

Thanks guys for your comment.
As I noted in my blog, if Nuhu Ribadu is guilty of treason then the AG should be facing a firing squad.

niyilayi18 said...

This whole thing is a charade. Nigerians are fed up of the PDP turning us into a home video to the world. It is crystal clear that anything PDP spells doom to wherever it reigns. They have no progress of Nigeria at heart rather than just to ensure that their party players are the ones at the helm of affairs and do even the unspeakable to keep them above the law. Most PDP states speaks volume from the inactivity progress report. The Sick president is a good example, and Now Aondoakaa! If he wants to be relevant, i think he should stop fooling himself and get something tangible done. he is of course a mockery to a respectable body that has in the past produced great Nigerians. Nigerians are tired of drama. We need reasonable reality for a change!