The Coalition against Corrupt Leaders CACOL has demanded that cases of those that have been alleged and are being investigated or prosecuted of corruption crimes in the country, despite the removal of the Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Larmode and the weighty allegations leveled against the Chairman of Code of Conduct Bureau and the Chairman of Code of Conduct Tribunal, must go on.
Speaking on behalf of the Coalition, the Executive Chairman, Comrade Debo Adeniran expressed the opinion that the Coalition, though not in support of the EFCC Chairman’s sudden removal believes that the president has the prerogative to determine who he hires or fires; but in so doing, he should replace them immediately.
“Larmode’s removal could not have been surprising because his two predecessors Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and Madam Farida Waziri were removed unceremoniously the same way after being accused of engaging in corrupt practices, especially by those powerful toes they stepped on. However, it is not really correct for the regime to engage in humiliation of their appointees; what was required was for the supervising Ministry and relevant Committees of the National Assembly to diligently play their oversight function on the agencies, all the allegations raised could have been discovered, nipped in the buds or prosecuted, during the period such suspects are running the agency and not when powerful people are being investigated or prosecuted by them.”
While expressing his reservation, the anti-corruption crusader noted that “what has happened to three Chairmen of the EFCC is not going to encourage people of good conscience to work in such an institution where there is no security of tenure. We know that nobody is infallible and anybody could commit any offence but we also know that we cannot pre-determine what the mind of an individual can dictate until it has manifested some traits that are not commensurate with the expectation of the office its holding.
“Though we also agree that the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, Justice Danladi Umar is no longer fit and proper to continue in his office, the cases he is handling should not be stopped or allowed to suffer long delay. It is expected that between now and tomorrow morning when the Senate President Bukola Saraki is billed to appear before the Tribunal, another trial judge should have been properly briefed to continue the trial seamlessly.”
According to Adeniran, “the allegations against the EFCC, CCB and CCT could be a deliberate ploy, because it is too coincidental to be accidental that the allegations are coming up when the Senate President and his spouse are being investigated and tried. Even some of the senators that accompanied the Senate President to the court are also suspected to have been in custody of the pieces of evidence that are being used against the anti-corruption agencies.”
Speaking further, he noted that, “no matter how weighty the evidences against corruption criminals are adopted, there must be due diligence in its investigation and criminals must be prosecuted. Our argument is that the first to be accused should be the first to be conclusively investigated and prosecuted without allowing the trial of the hunter to allow the hunted escape justice.”
In conclusion, Adeniran stressed that “it is to the advantage of the society that criminals quarrel among themselves with a view to exposing each other, but that a criminal exposes another criminal should not preclude any one of them from being adequately punished for the individual or collective roles they play in the execution of the alleged crimes; that is the only way by which we will get to the end of criminal activities within our society.”