•Explains why Buhari is losing anti-graft cases
From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, dismissed allegation by the Lt. Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (retd), that he plotted to kill him (Bamaiyi) during his eight-year incarceration as untrue.
He said rather than peddle falsehood, the former Chief of Army Staff should clear the murder chargers hanging on his head.
Obasanjo spoke who when he hosted members of the Ogun State Correspondents Chapel, at his Presidential Hilltop residence, in Abeokuta, was reacting to allegation made against him by Bamaiyi.
The former Chief of Army Staff who served during the late General Sani Abacha’s regime, was detained in October 1999 and charged with attempted murder of the late publisher of the Guardian Newspaper and former Internal Affairs Minister, Alex Ibru.
However, he was discharged and acquitted in April 2008.
In his book, Vindication of a General, launched in Abuja recently, Bamaiyi narrated how the Obasanjo government allegedly plotted to kill him in detention.
“Who the hell is he (Bamaiyi) that I would want to kill him? the former president, who was apparently irked by the allegation, bellowed.
“What of the people he killed? My government did not plot to kill him. My government asked him to answer to those that were alleged to have been killed by him and that is legitimate.
“That if there is an allegation that you have done something, that you have committed a crime, then you are arrested, you should answer. And that’s all. Pure and simple!
“Who the hell is he that I would want to kill him? Kill him for what? To achieve what? No!
“There were allegations; the police and the law enforcement agencies decided to look into the allegations. They invited him and they asked him to answer as a result of what was found. They charged him to court. So, it’s now up to him, the investigators as I said, the prosecutors and the judiciary,” the ex-president stated.
Meanwhile, Obasanjo, has challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) as well as other anti-graft agencies to brace up in the discharge of their anti-graft crusade.
He said there was need for thorough investigations, diligent prosecution and committed judiciary toward ensuring that anti-corruption war is effective tackled.
He bemoaned a situation where the nation’s anti-graft agencies engage weak prosecutors.
“I was reading today when the President (Muhammadu Buhari) said the EFCC should stop losing cases. They lose cases for a number of reasons. One, they engage more of outside lawyers. I believe that they need staunch, ogbologbo lawyers inside that will do the work. “If I am a lawyer and I want the opponent to win a case, what I will file will be wishy-washy. And if I file a wishy-washy case, the opponent will see the loophole and he will get out of it. I believe that it is important.
“Secondly, thorough investigation is very important. Now, investigation must be thorough, it must be proper and it must be really taken seriously.
“Third, our judges must be committed in fighting corruption. They must be committed to fighting corruption, because if the investigation is very sound and you have ogbologbo lawyer to handle the case, if you have Salamigate, you know what the answer will be.
“So it is a line – investigation, prosecution and the judiciary. If there is weakness along this line, chances are that corruption cases will continue to be lost,” Obasanjo said.