“I believe EFCC actions against Ibori in the UK are as a direct result of Ibori's support for me as President. The UK Authorities have been enlisted by my political opponents”-President Umar Musa Yar Adua, Sept, 21, 2009.
I am once more compelled against my wish to react to Oct. 7, 2010 decision by the Legal Practitioners and Privileges Committee (LPPC) to strip former Attorney General Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice of Nigeria, Mr Aondoakaa (SAN) of his SANship based on 12-point Petition written against him by Barrister Ojo Olasupo of the Committee for Defence of Human Right (CDHR), on July 20, 2010 entitled: PETITION AGAINST CONTINUATION OF MICHAEL AONDOAKAA AS SENIOR ADVOCATE OF NIGERIA. The summary of the petition is allegation that he used his “position as Attorney General Federation to emasculate the anti-corruption institutions (EFCC and ICPC), abuse the powers of his office and dragged the nobility of, not only the office of the AGF and of the rank of SAN but of the Legal Profession in the mud of infamy thereby violating the Code of Ethics of the Legal Profession.”
I am not reacting to defend Mr Aondoakaa (SAN) or to condemn CDHR but to present those facts for the moral truth to be known and equal justice done to all parties for overriding public interest.
Having analysed the matter and the timing of the decision of LPPC which was only ten days before the Dubai Court Ruling on extradition Suit against former Delta State Governor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, which took place on October 17, 2010, I sadly came to the conclusion that both CDHR and LPPC actions are part of the relentless politically persecution (not prosecution) of my dear Urhobo Brother, (Governor James Onanefe Ibori) for his opinion and stance on Nigeria's 2011 Presidency. I have deliberately emphasised political persecution for reasons you shall know at the end of this piece.
Before I go further, let me state again that I remain unrepentant in condemning the lootings of Delta State under Chief Ibori, aided, supported and encouraged by British Government, Civil Society Organisations, Religious Leaders, Traditional Institutions, Media Practitioners and Proprietors, Legal Practitioners, Honourable Justices, Students Bodies, Political Parties, women groups and almost all other existing Organisations in Nigeria. Ibori was not alone in this act as this was the official norm as was the cases with President Obasanjo and State Governors of Nigeria except may be former Governor Umar Musa Yar Adua of Katsina State. Again for the record may I state here that I have never met with Ibori nor have I accepted to collect a kobo from him despite my privileged positions to do so. The British Government through Sir Richard Grozny (British Ambassador to Nigeria) in February 2007 publicly endorsed the continuation of Chief Ibori's governance through his cousin, Dr Uduaghan Emmanuel.
CDHR is aware that Delta State Governor Uduaghan's Administration is a continuation of Chief Ibori's and major decisions are referred to Ibori till date just as is the case with former Governor Tinubu and Governor Fashola of Lagos and all others. May I therefore ask: is it not true that this Barrister Ojo Olasupo-led CDHR was given one million naira by Chief Ibori/Dr Uduaghan PDP Government in Warri in April 2009 out of which Barrister Ojo Olasupo and his CDHR team from Lagos collected five hundred thousand naira? What was the money meant for?
It is interesting to know that about 1567 words of the about 5562-word Petition (i.e 28%), were focused on Chief Ibori's case with EFCC and UK Police. Only three words were dedicated to passively mention former Governor Bola Tinubu who has cases of alleged money laundering, drug trafficking, non-assets declaration, abuse of office, etc instituted against him by former Attorney General of Federation (AGF) and Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) in March 4, 2003. Also in February 2007, mallam Nuhu Ribadu told www.saharareporters.com, “Do not worry; we are coming out with a bombshell on Tinubu. All the Accounts he operates internationally have been investigated. Tell him that he will soon hear from us”.
It is also interesting to note that CDHR never referred to the many cases of abuse of Office by former AGF, Mr Bayo Ojo (SAN), during which period Governors Alamieyeseigha, Dariye, Fayose and few other anti-Obasanjo 3rd term campaigners were thrown out of Offices and hauled into UK and EFCC detention Cells without due respect for Court Judgments, Rule of Law and International Treaties. Though I supported these Obasanjo-Ribadu lawlessness then thinking they were sincere in destroying corruption and corrupt Nigerians but now I know better.
It is also known to all that Chief Ibori has severally been accused of having influenced the appointment of Mr Aondoakaa (SAN) allegedly for the sole aim of using him to thwart the EFCC'S corruption cases against him and to do his other biddings. This point is re-echoed in this CDHR's Petition hence my analysis shall be limited only to the allegations against Mr Aondoakaa bothering directly and indirectly on Chief Ibori. Yet it is a fact that Aondoakaa (SAN) was appointed on July 26, 2007 while Ribadu's EFCC arrested Ibori on Dec. 11, 2007 and detained him for 62 days, the longest of all detained former alleged corrupt Governors. It is also a fact that former Governors who Nuhu Ribadu said had worse cases than Ibori's are today Presidential Aspirants, Senators, top government officials, etc. It is also a fact that CDHR, Governor Tinubu and Ribadu are today political allies.
CDHR accused Mr Aondoakaa (SAN) of withdrawing criminal charges against one Barrister Moses Odiri (an Urhobo son like Ibori) who they also claimed was disrobed by the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee for falsely accusing the Supreme Court Justices of collecting Five Billion Naira bribe.
Has CDHR forgotten that this Barrister Moses Odiri was one of the strongest PDP opposition to then governor Ibori and was the Legal Counsel to the Plaintiffs in the year 2003 ex-convict case against Ibori? Has CDHR forgotten that Mr Odiri made that alleged N5b bribery accusation against the Supreme Court Justices because of the outcome of ex-convict case? Has CDHR forgotten that he was reportedly abducted by policemen in Lagos and brought to Delta State for punishment allegedly on the orders Gov. Ibori? How come Ibori's “appointee”, Mr Aondoakaa (SAN), would now turn around to free Mr Odiri from legal punishment when the opportunity arose?
CDHR also accused Mr Aondoakaa (SAN) of deliberately frustrating the efforts of UK Police to prosecute Ibori, his wife and Associates by insisting he is the only CENTRAL AUTHORITY from whom all correspondences and exchanges of Evidences between the UK Police and EFCC must emanate or approved by him before such can be legally admissible in UK as material evidence for prosecuting Ibori and others. It cited Sections 6 (j) & (k) of EFCC Act. CDHR also made reference to MLAT between UK and Nigeria.
First CDHR should know that an Act of a National Assembly can never be superior to the Constitution of a Nation. To that extent, the EFCC Act is inferior to the Constitution of Nigeria which in Section 150(1) provides that there shall be an Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) who shall be the Chief Law Officer of the Federation and a Minister of the Government of the Federation. Also Section 174(1) of Nigerian Constitution stipulates that the AGF shall have power to institute, take over, continue and or discontinue all criminal cases instituted by any other authority or person at any stage before judgement. Did he discontinue the case against Ibori?
The Europe Convention On Laundering, Search, Seizure And Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime, Strasbourg, 8.XI.1990, which U.K is a Signatory, states in Article 23 that “the Parties shall designate a “CENTRAL AUTHORITY…which shall be responsible for sending and answering requests. Article 24 also states that for Direct Communication, the Central Authorities shall communicate directly with one another.
The MLAT between UK and Libya of November 2009, Article 3 states that: Central Authorities shall be established by both Parties as follows: (a) For the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, the Central Authority shall be the General People's Committee for Justice.(b) For the United Kingdom, the Central Authorities shall be the Secretary of State. It further states that requests under this Treaty shall be made by the Central Authority of the Requesting Party to the Central Authority of the Requested Party.
On December 18, 2008, a London Court of Appeal ruled on the issue as to whether Nuhu Ribadu was right in inviting the London Metropolitan Police (a common Constable) and in forwarding any legal materials to the UK under the MLAT between the two countries without the consent of the Nigerian AGF. Is CDHR aware that this London C.A presided by Justices Hughes, Tracy and Peter Creswell ruled in favour of Mr Aondoakaa (SAN) when they said “upon the term of bilateral treaty between the U.K and Nigeria, we are unable to agree that the material (Ribadu-UK Police evidence against Ibori before the Court) left Nigeria under lawful transmission under the treaty (MLAT) by the Central Authority of the country (Nigeria) and there was no transition under the Treaty”.
Is CDHR also aware that British Home Secretary, Mrs Jacqui Smith in her testimony on this matter insisted too that “she would like to reserve to herself, if material had left England without her consent, the right to call for its return”? Is CDHR aware that after the exit of Mr Aondoakaa (SAN), and in line with the ruling of the London C.A, the incumbent AGF (Mohammed Bello Adoke) wrote a letter Ref. DPPA/EXT/149/10, dated July 1, 2010 and signed only by him (not EFCC), to the British Home Secretary, made pursuant to the Extradition Act (Designation of Part 2 Territories) Order 2003 (SI2003 No.3334) of the UK which reads: "The Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice presents his compliments to the Home Secretary, Home Office, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and has the honour to convey the request of the Government of Federal Republic of Nigeria for the arrest and extradition of Mr. Erastus B. O. Akingbola to Nigeria”? A case of alleged money laundering and stealing of over N300b yet neither the UK Police nor her Government honour this letter, they did not arrest or extradite Mr Akingbola to Nigeria. Has CDHR forgotten also how the UK government in 1984 under Buhari-Idiagbon leadership, vehemently opposed the extradition of Alhaji Umaru Dikko from London over alleged high level corruption and gross mismanagement of our nation wealth?
Is CDHR aware that the London C.A Justices accused Ribadu of pursuing the action against Ibori driven by malice? Is CDHR aware that the Justices only granted the London Police leave to use the material Ribadu sent to them when Bayo Ojo (SAN) was AGF because he allowed Ribadu to usurp his constitutional powers? The obvious reason being that Bayo Ojo (SAN) was under the strict instruction of President Obasanjo to persecute Govs Ibori, and Alamieyeseigha for their opposition to his dictatorship and political ambitions. Refer to Daily Independence newspaper of Dec 19, 2008.
What about this excerpt from the interview granted the Sun newspaper by Former Governor Alamieyeseigha and published in May 23, 2010?
Q: What do you think triggered all the drama leading to your travail?
A: Third term; end of story. The fact was that I was to be vice president to somebody and the big man said he was not going and will continue, and I said no.
Q. Tell us about your London experience and did you really escape to Nigeria dressed like a woman and were you arrested with money belonging to Bayelsa State?
A. I never returned to Nigeria dressed like a woman…Bayo Ojo requested that I should be kept in England until the final determination of the case. The London Judge dropped his pen and asked him: “Are you sure you are the AGF and Minister of Justice?” Because in his 35 years as a Judge he has never seen where a sovereign nation will go to another sovereign nation to ask that its own national should not come home. “You are writing history… Bayo Ojo (SAN) apologized when we came out and said: “Your Excellency, I am under instruction. Please forgive me.
It is instructive to note that CDHR in her petition and trying to indict mr aodoakaa of allegedly transferring a case from Lagos where a crime was allegedly committed to Abuja cited the controversial transfer of Ibori's case from Kaduna to Asaba, Delta State where the alleged money laundering crime was committed to buttress her accusation against Aodoakaa (SAN). In this CDHR surprisingly now justifies the transfer of Ibori's case from Kaduna to Delta State.
Is CDHR not aware that the Code of Conduct Bureau on April 25, 2003 dropped all four-count charge it instituted against governor Bola Tinubu on March 4, 2003, giving no reason? The withdrawal letter reads in part: pursuant of Section 174(1c) and 174 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, I John Joseph Ndupe, Assistant Chief Legal Officer/Legal Adviser Code of Conduct Bureau and Prosecutor to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), on behalf of the AGF and Minister of Justice do hereby withdraw the four-count charge along with the other documents filed at the CCT on the 4th of March 2003 against Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Executive governor of Lagos State.”?- Tribune and Vanguard Newspapers, April 28, 2003.
Is CDHR not aware that on May 7, 2010, just two days after then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan became President, AGF Mr Adoke (SAN) withdrew Charges against Ribadu giving no reason, yet Mrs Waziri's EFCC had accused Ribadu of money laundering and stealing of public funds. That he owns properties in Dubai, etc. Is CDHR not aware that during the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)'s 2008 Annual meeting in Portharcourt, Rivers State, the then President of NBA, Prince Lanke Odogiyon, accused Bayo Ojo (SAN) of "either looks the other way or is completely castrated and helpless in the face of these two lawless Institutions (EFCC and FCDA) who parade themselves as giants."?
How would CDHR explain these? (1) Feb. 7, 2003, President Obasanjo ordered AGF to petition INEC to stop Gov. Tinubu from 2003 election (2) On March 4, 2003, he ordered AGF to file 4-Count charge against Tinubu at Code of Conduct Tribunal (3) few days later in March 2003, Gov. Tinubu commenced campaign for the re-election of Obasanjo. (4) April 25, 2003 Obasanjo ordered AGF to withdraw Charges and discontinue Suit against Tinubu after Tinubu kept his promise to deliver Lagos to him. Is CDHR aware that during an election campaign in Lagos on March 22, 2003, governor Tinubu said, “you know what we will do on election day, you will vote AD for House of Representatives, vote AD for House of Assembly, vote AD for Senate, vote AD for Governor and President Olusegun Obasanjo for President”?
Human Right Activist and Lawyer, Barrister Festus Keyamo (an Urhobo son like Ibori) was severally condemned and threatened by some leading politicians, elite, Activists and Lawyers of Yoruba extractions excluding a only a very few patriots like Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAM), for insisting on revealing the killers of Chief Bola Ige (Nigeria's AGF and Minister of Justice) on December 22, 2001 at Ife, Osun State. Immediately, he was arrested, detained and dehumanised. A Patriot retired Nigerian Army General of Yoruba ethnic nationality revealed on AIT programme that the killers of Chief Bola Ige will not be found because it was an “all Yoruba Internal Affair”. What has CDHR done so far to expose these killers and to bring them to Justice? It is quite interesting to know that Barrister Ojo Olosupo is a citizen of Osun State same as late Chief Bola Ige and charity we say, should begin at home.
It is a fact known to all persons of good conscience of our World, to what extent some desperate politicians and leaders of the UK will go to sponsor organised public hatred and persecution of some leaders and personalities of militarily weaker nations and even shamelessly tell lies to have them murdered through military coups and judicial manipulations; all in pretence of helping to promote Justice and good governance across our world.
We are living witnesses to British PM Tony Blair's recent public admission of having lied against Iraq Saddam Hussein of alleged plans to use Weapons of Mass Destruction hence the war on Iraq and the execution of Saddam Hussein. UK politicians did it to our beloved African leaders like President Kwame Nkruma of Ghana and others. They will do it to Chief James Ibori for that is their ultimate plan through all this sponsored persecutions and desperation through their kangaroos Courts in London. Do we ask where the stolen trillions of naira of Nigerian wealth are kept till date? Ofcourse not even one percent of it is anywhere in Nigeria.
Whatever it is UK politicians do, we shall all die, one way or the other but the moral truth must be told for our next generation Nigerian Leaders to decide whether to continue as slaves to UK or be truly free and independent. For me, I am above forty three years of age now, I have seen life-The good, bad and ugly. There is nothing new under Heaven. Everything is vanity upon vanity. Also for me, life begins to end at forty years of age, I am therefore looking forward only to returning home my creator, GOD ALMIGHTY and to serve humanity all over the world. To freely assist in restoring human dignity, promote global peace, unity and brotherhood by telling the whole moral truth on all matters. Good night my beloved, Nigeria.
To all those Dearest families that my brother Chief James Onanefe Ibori may have hurt by words or actions, I join him to sincerely seek for your forgiveness. It is the regrettable Nigerian factor of Do or Die politics we practice even till date. As we can see now, 2011 appears tending towards “one man, one gun, one kidnapper, one bomb”. Did I hear you say, God forbid?
Fellow Nigerians, having read my humble presentation, it is yours to decide whether this CDHR'S Petition against Mr Aondoakaa (SAN) is a continuation of Political Persecution of Ibori as President Umar Musa Yar Adua alleged?
GOD BLESS NIGERIA, GOD'S ONLY COUNTRY. AMEN
Comrade IGBINI ODAFE EMMANUEL (ENGR),
2011 Presidential Aspirant, Peoples Redemption Party, (PRP),
Governorship Candidate of Peoples Redemption Party, (PRP), Delta State, April 2007.
(The First and only Nigerian to voluntarily submit to the EFCC for probe).
Labour Leader, elf Petroleum Nig Ltd (1991 – 1999)
President, National Assoc. of Delta State Post Graduate Students, UNIPORT (2002 – 2006)
National President, Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy (VATLAD).
Email: [email protected]