…Once rich and powerful leaders but now in hiding
They can’t escape charges, presidential adviser, Itse Sagay, others warn
From ADE ALADE, ABUJA
UNTIL about a year ago, most of them were in charge in the real sense of the word and in Nigerian context. Their words were powerful and their signatures smacked of authority. With their retinue of aides, they moved around in convoys, heavily guarded by security agents. Today, all that have vanished. Suddenly, yesterday’s men of power and influence, who issued orders to law enforcement agents are fleeing from the same agents who were once at their beck and call. In short, they are men and women who wielded enormous powers under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan but today are hiding in far away countries to avoid encounters with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, which had leveled allegations of corruption against some of them.
Top on the list of the fleeing topshots are former ministers, presidential aides and power brokers. Virtually all of them have been putting up arguments in self-defence, from their comfort zones in other jurisdictions. They also justify their continued stay abroad under different pretences ranging from health issues to pursuit of higher education and many more.
These men include former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, his counterparts in the Petroleum Ministry, Diezani Allison-Madueke, Defence Ministry, Musiliu Obanikoro. Others include notable presidential aides such as former Special Adviser on Presidential Amnesty Programme, Kingsley Kuku, former Director of Special Duties in the Office of the National Security Adviser, Col. Bello Fadile and a former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina as well ex-militant leader and power broker, Government Ekpemupolo (a.k.a Tompolo), former governor of Bauchi State and PDP National Chairman, Adamu Mu’azu and former governor of Jigawa State, Saminu Turaki among others.
To further justify their decision not to honour invitations already extended to them by the EFCC, most of these men on the run have accused the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of prosecuting a selective anti-graft war and deliberately targeting top officials and friends of former President Jonathan.
Fielding questions on what government should do to these Nigerians, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, Prof. Itse Sagay disclosed that efforts are ongoing to extradite and make them face trial.
“My belief and those of the other committee members is that these people have cases to answer, and they should not be allowed to escape justice. The Federal Government should start the process of extraditing them from the countries where they are taking refuge with public loot. There should be no hiding place for these people because they have committed economic crime against the people.
“Our position is that these refugee looters should be brought back to Nigeria. The Federal Government should seek their extradition from wherever they are hiding. They have a case to answer, and they should come home to answer charges against them.
However, it is the responsibility of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to seek the extradition of these people and I believe steps are being taken in that regard”, Prof Sagay stated.
SATURDAY SUN in this story presents the powerful men and women of yesteryears who have refused to turn themselves in to anti-graft and law enforcement agencies investigating various allegations against them. Rather than surrender themselves for probe, they have chosen to flee the country and hide in foreign lands hoping and praying that the cup will miraculously pass over them.
MOHAMMED BELLO ADOKE
Adoke is the immediate past AGF and Minister of Justice. A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, he was appointed Nigerian Attorney General and Minister of Justice on 6 April 2010, when the then Acting President Goodluck Jonathan announced his new cabinet. As the Chief Law Officer of the country, he wielded enormous powers, more especially because he had supervisory control over prominent law enforcement agencies such as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA and the EFCC, which are investigating him over graft allegations. Adoke was one of the first set of top officials in the Jonathan administration to flee the country few days after President Muhammadu Buhari took over on May 29, 2015. He has continued to say that he left the country in pursuit of further education in the Netherlands.
As at press time, Adoke has been fingered in at least three major multi-billion dollar deals. They include the $1.2 billion Malabo oil payment deal; $2.1 billion arms fund diversion and recently, the alleged diversion of $1.6 billion local government judgment fund. An anti-graft coalition, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) recently petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to investigate a court judgment obtained by the 774 local government councils in the country, ordering the Federal Government to pay them $3.188billion and the diversion of $1.6 billion.
National Chairman of CSNAC, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, said the group petitioned the anti-graft agency to investigate the activities of the former Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN); and others mentioned in the alleged fraud.
According to CSNAC’s petition against the judgment in the suit (No FHC/ABJ/129/2013) filed on 11 June, 2013, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, some local councils and Linas International Limited sued the Attorney-General of the Federation, Ministry of Finance and Accountant-General of the Federation over the illegal deductions made by the Federal Government from the statutory allocations of the local councils. These were in respect, respectively, of the 1992 London Club Debt buy-back and the 2006 London Club Debt exit.
The plaintiffs in the originating summons said that the petition, and claimed the sum of $3.2 billion payable to them from the Federation Account. CSNAC observed that the suit challenged the decision of the Federal Government taken in 1992, when the action was based on the 1999 Constitution, which did not become operational until May 1999. “Besides, the case was filed to challenge the decision taken by the Federal Government 21 years earlier. With respect to the payment of Paris Club debt in 2006, the action took place seven years earlier.”
Based on some of these allegations, the EFCC had summoned Adoke for questioning but the former minister had failed to honour the invitation.
Explaining why he fled the country and had refused to return andhonour EFCC invitation, Adoke said “I find it curious and rather surprising that people say I simply disappeared from the scene. While I was in office, as far back as 2014, I made up my mind that whether or not President Goodluck Jonathan won the election and continue in office, I would return to school. This is to enable me deepen my knowledge of Public International Law. This is also because I was elected into the International Law Commission where my tenure will end in December 2016.
“So, it is not correct to say I disappeared from Nigeria. On June, 2, 2015, I went with my wife and children to Dubai for a short vacation and thereafter, I resumed school at the University of Laden, in The Hague where I have since commenced an intensive Advanced LLM programme in Public International Law with specialization in International Criminal Law. So, to that extent, you are meeting me here at The Hague. This is where I live at the moment. I am undergoing the programme, which is for a period of one year. As soon as the programme ends on August 26, I will head back to Nigeria. Let me state emphatically, I am not running away from Nigeria.”
Reacting to why he has failed to honour the EFCC summon, Adoke said he smelt persecution. His words: “the invitation from the EFCC actually came sometime in November about the time I was preparing to write my first semester exams. I got a call from my former Senior Special Assistant who said to me that the EFCC wrote to the Permanent Secretary to invite me to come and see them. That again was a bit curious because I was no longer a public officer. So, they had no basis to write to the Ministry of Justice to ask me to report to them.
“As curious as that sounded, I got in touch with my lawyer Adeoke Aina and asked him to write to the EFCC that I was writing my exams, commencing December 7 to 17, that I had other things to tidy up and that I would see them on December 28. Immediately after my exams and after tidying up what I had to do, I traveled through Dubai and I was preparing to honour the EFCC invitation on December 27. Then I got an anonymous phone call from somebody who said ‘Your Honour, I work with the EFCC, I don’t know you and you don’t know me. But I am a man who has the fear of God in me. There is a plan and a conspiracy that is being orchestrated based on the prompting and instigation of Mohammed Sani Abacha, one Lawal Abba, working as an agent of Atiku Abubakar, to make sure that the EFCC indicts, detains, embarrasses you and prevents you from going back to your school.’
Based on this concern, it is obvious he may not be in a hurry to visit Nigeria anytime soon.
Diezani K. Alison-Madueke was born into a royal family in oil rich Bayelsa State. She hit the limelight in 2007 when she was first appointed a minister. Since then, her initial ‘K’ which stands for her middle name can conveniently pass for controversy. Named Nigeria’s minister of transportation on 26 July 2007, She was moved to Mines and Steel Development in 2008, and in April 2010 was appointed Minister of Petroleum Resources and thereafter, the first female President of OPEC. She was elected at the 166th OPEC Ordinary meeting in Vienna on 27 November 2014.
With her close relationship with former President Jonathan, she became the most powerful minister in the administration. She equally had the economic life wire of the nation in her hands, rolling in billions of oil dollars. This accounts for why she is the subject of multiple multi-billion dollars fraud investigations not only in Nigeria, even in the United Kingdom, where she is currently treating cancer.
In October last year, Diezani was arrested in London along with some others by the UK National Crime Agency. Few hours after her arrest in London, EFCC operatives raided her Abuja home, located in the Asokoro district of the federal capital city, and sealed the property, after they recovered expensive jewelries and other items from the building. Since then, the EFCC have been going after some of her associates especially oil tycoons believed to have fronted for her. One of them is the managing director, Atlantic NLNG drilling company, Jide Omokore who was recently arraigned in court. Allison-Madueke was actually named as one of the defendants on the charge sheet until about two weeks ago when her name and that of another suspect, Kolawale Akane were removed because they are still at large. Besides, the Nigerian government has already commenced the legal process for a worldwide seizure of the assets of two of her allies, Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko, running into several billions of dollars.
Though she has not returned to Nigeria to face the numerous graft allegations against her, she has nevertheless been speaking up to defend herself against her alleged stigmatization as a corrupt official. While reacting to a story by an international television channel that she procured her Abuja mansion allegedly valued at $18million and jewelries worth $2m from monies she stole while in office, she said she was only being portrayed in bad light to prepare the ground for her persecution.
In a statement, the ex-minister accused the Qatar-based media organization and the EFCC of unprofessionalism. She alleged that the story was meant to tarnish her reputation and amounted to giving “a dog a bad name in order to hang it.”
“My attention has been drawn to a report by Al Jazeera, which was released on Monday as a testament to the effectiveness of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in its war against corruption,” she wrote.
“In the video report, which has been widely circulated in the social media, there are claims about me owning a property in Abuja allegedly worth $18 million. The report, which represents everything ridiculous and despicable about professional media practice and global best practices in the war against corruption, is the latest attempt to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.”
She wondered why she was being painted as a “common criminal” in the media despite not being convicted her for any crime.
She added that the display of the jewelries was made to feed on the notion that all wealthy Nigerians are corrupt. “This will not be the first time calculated attempts have been made to demonize and damage my reputation in the public space. Many times, my detractors had gotten away with these irresponsible smear campaigns because they have become accustomed to my characteristic approach of silence in the face of these callous attacks.
“The latest in the string of propaganda attacks launched against my person since I left government as Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister is this Al Jazeera report, which without any court conviction anywhere in the world attempts to dress Diezani Alison Madueke in the garb of a common criminal.
“This, to say the least, is the height of journalistic brigandage and a sheer mockery of Nigeria’s anti-corruption war before the eyes of the world who are watching and asking if the war against corruption is a circus show where suspects are prosecuted and sentenced on the pages of newspapers and video blogs without anything as remotely in the semblance of a trial in the courts of law,” the former minister said.
She wondered when owning properties and jewelries became a crime in the country.
Reeling out a list of her academic qualifications and professional career, she said she worked hard over the years to live an affluent life.
“When did it become a crime to own a property in Nigeria? When did it become a crime for a woman of my status to have in her possession, jewelry? Jewelry, which women all across the world, including the woman selling tomatoes in Bodija market have in abundance in their closets? In which court of law, anywhere in the world was I prosecuted by the EFCC and found guilty of corruption? With all sense of modesty, I say this only for posterity and for the records. I have strived within my means and the blessings of God to live a decent and accomplished life.”
With her fears over alleged plot to persecute her, even if she recovers fully from cancer today, it is pretty tough to guess if she will ever return to Nigeria to face trial.
MUSILIU OLATUNDE OBANIKORO
Obanikoro (popularly known as Koro) has a rich political career. He served as Senator for Lagos State from 2003–2007, and was later appointed High Commissioner to Ghana. He served as the Minister of State for Defence under the Jonathan administration. He was President Jonathan’s point man in Lagos and indeed the South West during the 2015 general elections. He allegedly coordinated security operations and movement of billions of funds for election purposes. He left the country soon after President Buhari took over under the guise of going for further studies in the US. He has since completed the programme but has refused to return home like others.
Though he has since relocated to the United States where he holds honorary citizenship of Glenarden, Maryland and Little Rock, Arkansas. He has been under investigations along with his two sons; Babajide and Gbolahan over alleged graft charges. The two sons are also currently outside the country. The trio is wanted by the EFCC after it traced N4.75bn to a company, Sylvan McNamara Limited, in which Obanikoro’s sons allegedly have interest. The former minister has also been accused of moving over N1.2bn in cash to Akure, Ondo state to fund the governorship election of Mr Ayo Fayose in Ekiti in 2014.
This led the EFCC operatives to storm Obanikoro’s house, located at Layi Ajayi Bembe Street in Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, where they recovered documents and vehicles last month. Both Gbolahan and Babajide Obanikoro, sources disclosed, as directors of the company, were also signatories to its account until 2014 when one Olalekan Ogunseye was made the sole signatory to the account. EFCC sources disclosed that the payments to the company from the office of the NSA, Sambo Dasuki, were made without any contract.
Though he has vowed not to honour his invitation for questioning by the EFCC, daring the Nigerian government to seek his extradition from the US, the ex-minister has however been defending him from time to time. Denying all allegations made against him by the EFCC, Obanikoro has alleged that the agency has manufactured evidence in order to nail him. The one-time Lagos gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Jonathan Eze, recently, while reacting to a report on his involvement in the N.4.7bn allegedly transferred from the imprest account of the Office of the National Security Adviser into his sons’ company account, Sylvan McNamara, said the government was getting too desperate to nail him.
The statement partly read, “Recall that when the EFCC illegally raided my houses in Lagos, they went away with various documents which included blank signed letter headed papers as testified in the Affidavit sworn in the Court.
“It has however come to my notice that the EFCC has allegedly written an acknowledgement on one of the documents purportedly used as evidence that I collected the equivalent sum of $1m in cash from a Bureau de Change and signed for it.
“This is another lie from the pit of hell. How can anybody change money from a Bureau De Change and sign for it? I still insist that throughout my stints as Minister, I never collected any money from any Bureau De Change and as such, I urge the public to ignore the EFCC who are trying to skew investigations in its favour.
“The EFCC has obviously betrayed public trust by its latest sinister plan of manufacturing receipt in my name. Instead of genuinely carrying out its mandate, it has been grossly overshadowed by political wiles.”
It is not in doubt that Senator Obanikoro will not willingly return to Nigeria for further probe and possibly prosecution because he has not minced words that he will not.
Muazu is a former governor of Bauchi State, and a past national chairman of the PDP. Mu’azu resigned from his position in May 2015, following pressures on him by the party stakeholders to vacate his office, as a result of the party’s dismal performance in the March 28, 2015 presidential election.
Checks revealed that the former PDP national chairman shuttles between his residence in Dubai and a London hospital for treatment of an undisclosed ailment.
As the EFCC continues to unravel names of PDP stalwarts who benefitted from alleged diversion of $2.1 billion arms fund into the party’s presidential campaign, Mu’azu has been mentioned in the alleged disbursement by former governor of old Anambra state, Jim Nwobodo.
While denying that he collected money from the embattled former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, Nwobodo in several media reports said he only received N100 million, alongside 15 leaders of PDP in the South East at the residence of Muazu. He is however yet to return home to answer charges.
Kuku was a Special Adviser to former President Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs and the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. He was one of those who left the country soon after President Buhari took over. He has however, insisted that he only travelled to the US on medical grounds.
The EFCC had in July last year summoned Kuku, for questioning over alleged embezzlement and fraudulent diversion of funds running into hundreds of millions of Naira in the amnesty office. Though the EFCC has been unyielding in providing details of the allegations against the former presidential aide, there have been concerns that the amnesty programme of the last administration was fraught with corruption.
When Mr. Kuku was given July 28, 2015, to appear before the EFCC, he requested that he be allowed to honour the invitation on September 30. A letter by Mr. Kuku’s lawyers to the EFCC said the former presidential aide was undergoing surgery on one of his knees.
“Our client is currently in the United States of America to, keep appointment with his doctors at the Andrew Sports, medicine and ‘Orthopedic Centre LLC for surgery on one of his knees.
“He is expected back in Nigeria at the end of September, 2015 after the surgery and recuperation,” the letter, dated July 24, stated. The lawyers assured that Mr. Kuku would report to the EFCC as a “law abiding citizen” by 10.am on September 30. Rather than did as he promised, he has continued to seek protection from the courts and has since been at large.
In one of his recent denials of fraud allegations against him, Kuku denied ever disbursing over N1 trillion in the two weeks preceding the last presidential election. A recent media report said that the wife of the former president, Patience Jonathan may soon be invited by the EFCC to explain her role in the sourcing and disbursement of the funds spent by the Presidency. The fund, estimated at over a trillion naira, was reportedly routed and disbursed through the Amnesty Office to some notable politicians in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Kuku, who was the chairman of the Amnesty Programme, said the alleged investigation by the anti-graft agency into the funds was another calculated attempt to smear his name.
Speaking through his media aide, Yemi Akintomide in Akure, Kuku said with the new move, it was clear enough that the EFCC was too much in a hurry to nail him on corruption charges through media trials, even when he has not appeared before the agency’s investigators.
His words “I continue to wonder why the anti-graft agency would resort to unholy media campaigns and trials to nail me on corruption charges purportedly brought against me through yet-to-be investigated petitions said to be written against my person and former office.
“If not driven by great misgivings, how could they come up with such grievous and wicked report about my person; but paraphrasing my identity, which clearly reveal the deliberate attempt by EFCC to link me with the so-called election funds.
“The EFCC in its new trade, has thrown up another huge figure of one trillion naira election funds just to play on the sensibility of Nigerians, which in reality is just a figment of imagination of the anti-graft agency. How in God’s name can an anti-graft agency want Nigerians to believe its newly unveiled huge fraud of N1 trillion in the hand of a single Nigerian when in actual fact, the whole budget for 2015 was a little above N4 trillion. So, where did the N1 trillion come from two months into the new fiscal year?
“Or how would you explain the statement credited to operatives of EFCC that my failure to return to the country has slowed down investigations of how the funds were sourced and disbursed because I allegedly disbursed the bulk of the money, which was not part of the funds allocated to Amnesty office.
“During the period, as an aide to President Goodluck Jonathan, my schedule of duty has nothing to do with the person or office of wife to the President or any leader of the ruling PDP. It is limited to managing the welfare package for over 30,000 ex-agitators from the nine states of Niger-Delta as stipulated in the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP.)”
Kuku reiterated his readiness to return home as soon as his doctors give him a clean bill of health as he recuperates from a major knee surgery in the USA. He promised to honour the invitation of the EFCC as soon as he returned to the Country.
Though he made the promise to return to answer charges against him for the umpteenth time, it is very much unlikely that he will fulfill that promise any time soon, at least not during the Buhari administration.
GOVERNMENT EKPEMUPOLO (Tompolo)
Government Ekpemupolo is a former militant commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). For years, Ekpemupolo joined forces with various guerrilla groups in the Niger Delta, which were all agitating against the insensitivity of the Federal Government and the international oil companies towards the exploitation and degradation of the region. Ekpemupolo’s wealth- derived mainly from oil bunkering, played a major role in funding both MEND and also his own fighters. He however, embraced amnesty on October 4th 2009, in order to allow for peace in the area for the government and the oil companies to carry out development projects in the region as promised.
Though not a public office holder under the Jonathan administration, he however, wielded enormous powers and influence as one of the power brokers in that regime.
According to the EFCC which has since declared him wanted, the 47-year-old Tompolo is wanted in a case of conspiracy, illegal diversion of the sum of N34, 000,000,000 (Thirty Four Billion Naira) and N11, 900,000,000 (Eleven Billion, Nine Hundred Million Naira) totaling N47.9 billion belonging to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.
Tompolo who hails from Okerenkoko, Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South-West LGA of Delta State is believed to be the mastermind of the renewed militancy in the oil rich region following his refusal to honour EFCC invitations and court summons. A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos had issued two bench warrants, for Tompolo’s arrest.
Beside the graft charges pending against him, Tompolo is also top on the wanted list of security agents battling a new militant group in the creeks, Niger Delta Avengers over suspicion that the new group is his brainchild. He has however, denied any links with the group. He has equally denied involvement in the alleged N34 billion frauds in NIMASA. The denial was contained in one of his many recent open letters to President Buhari.
He said, “The truth of the matter is that I do not know anything about the 34 billion naira EFCC is talking about. First, it was 13-billion naira (N13bn) issue, now it is 34 billion naira (N34bn). I am not a signatory to any of the companies mentioned in the said N34bn case, so I do not know where this one is coming from.”
Though there have been speculations about his whereabouts, whether he is still hiding in the creeks or he’s fled the country, it is almost certain that he is not going to surrender and face trial willingly. As such, he remains one of the men of yester years who are now on the run from the new sheriff in town.
ABDULRASHEED ABDULLAHI MAINA
Maina is a former Chairman of Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), who remains on the list of persons wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for offences bordering on procurement fraud and obtaining by false pretence.
According to the information uploaded on the EFCC website, Maina is allegedly complicit in the over N2 billion Pensions Biometric Scam in the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation. He remains at large, after charges were filed against his alleged accomplices including a former Head of Service of the Federation, Steve Orosanye.
Speaking from hiding through his lawyer, Olajide Olaoye this week, Maina disputed the fact that he is wanted by the EFCC for any crime. However, as at press time, his picture and details are still on EFCC website as one of its wanted suspects.
According to his counsel’s statement, “Abdulrasheed Maina is not wanted by the EFCC or any anti-graft agency in the country. We went to court to challenge the impunity with the conducts and practice of the EFCC, which we won. Secondly, and very important too, the reference to Maina being joined in any suit with the ex-head of service, Mr. Steve Orosanye, who he has so much respect for, is a calculated attempt to hide the truth. On the Orosanye suit, Mr. Maina has repeatedly said he is ready to defend himself given the enabling environment.”
From that, it is obvious that Maina will remain on the run until he finds an “enabling environment.”
IBRAHIM SAMINU TURAKI
Turaki is a former governor of Jigawa State and has been on the wanted list of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) since 2011 when he was re-arraigned on a 36-count charge at the Federal High Court, Dutse, Jigawa State over an alleged case of criminal conspiracy, stealing, money laundering and misappropriation of public funds to the tune of N36 billion.
During the last court hearing of the charge against him on November 13, 2014, Turaki was absent despite a subsisting warrant for his arrest. In May 2016, EFCC operatives stormed the Abuja home of the former senator at 16 Dennis Osadebe Street, Asokoro Abuja, based on intelligence.
The raid was not successful in the operatives’ attempt to arrest the former governor, as only members of his family were found at home. When the former governor will surrender himself for trial is as uncertain as his present whereabouts.
Fadile is a retired Colonel of the Nigeria Army. He was a close confidant of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and a Director of Special Duties in the office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA when Dasuki held sway as NSA.
Messrs Dasuki and Fadile were placed under house arrest by the Department of State Security, DSS in July 2015 after which Dasuki was arrested in connection with alleged $2.1 billion arms fund fraud and has since then remanded in detention following his arraignment in court on fraud charges. Fadile has however, escaped from the country, with indications he may be in the US.
DSS agents were said to have raided Fadile’s home in Abuja, from where they took away a computer hard drive from his personal computer. Though none of the security agencies has declared him wanted or any specific fraud allegation made against him, he has since remained at large possibly for fear of arrest.
Their escape, a symptom of Nigeria’s weak justice system – Legal experts
The decision of some top officials of the past administration to stay abroad while corruption allegations leveled against them by Nigerian security agencies has been described as a symptom of a weak justice system.
This was the submission of three legal luminaries, Prof Fidelis Odita and Mr Fola Arthur-Worrey who spoke at a public lecture titled “Access to Quality Justice in Nigeria”, organized by the United Action for Change (UAC).
According to Odita, one of the problems with the Nigerian justice system is not the access but the “exit from justice.”
He explained that cases take as long as 10 years for common civil procedure to be resolved, adding that other factors hindering justice in the country are; inadequate instrumental capacity, respect for rule of law, funding, obscurity in the definition of allocation and jurisdiction, reliable and effective appeal system and the speed at which dispute is settled.
Also, Arthur-Worrey who is a former Lagos state Solicitor-General, said the escape from Nigeria by some former ministers and presidential aides is a flaw in the justice system. “If a man that has been duly charged fled the jurisdiction of the court or country, there are things you can check, the first is if he will voluntarily report, if not, then you look if the country has an extradition treaty with the country where the man is hiding, if there is extradition treaty then you go to court. It is only the Attorney General of the Federation that has the power to file for extradition. It does take long time and a lot of efforts.
“I am not aware that any court can provide protection through an injunction for anybody that is being investigated for corruption. If I apply for an injunction and I was being granted, you have to look into why. If you are talking about injunction that prosecutorial authority is restrained from prosecuting certain people, I find that as an abuse of judicial power,” he stated.
Like Arthur-Worrey , an associate Professor of Law at the University of Lagos, Dr Abiola Sanni said that the former ministers hiding abroad are enjoying weak justice system
“Ideally, if the institution is strong and vibrant, it will be very difficult for people to run away from justice. If the person escapes from the jurisdiction of the law, the law can leverage on international framework in order to make the person answer the law. The process is slow but it is sure”, he stated.