By Gwiyi Solomon
Of a fact and truism, when a serious minded-government of any country across the world institutes a criminal charge against any perceived suspect of its choice, three major things are expected of such government:
One, it is hoped and expected that such a regime must have thoroughly done its home work before ever coming forth to pronounce such citizen a suspect of crimes in the first instance.
Two, it is roundly and generally believed that such administration must have armed itself with every possible fact and tools that could enable such system push its claims to a major logical conclusion to the admiration of many.
Three, the chief justice of such administration, who is chiefly the legal eye of the said administration, having cut his teeth in the business of court practices must have dotted in readiness for the business of his life.
Unfortunately and painfully, such practices and preparedness are well, far-fetched from the business of government in the present administration of President Muhamadu Buhari as constituted.
Instead, what we see on a daily basis are successful media trials, media crucifixion, media arousal of public condemnation of such individuals and eventual loss of such charade in the proper court of law.
Of a fact again, for a government to lose four cases of corruption in five days, after the fanfares and opprobrium that trailed such cases during the life and times of its court processes, Nigerians must note that all is not well with such government’s legal team.
Does any Nigerian here still remembers the case of Elder Godsday Orubebe, former Minister of Niger Delta affairs, under President Goodluck Jonathan who was acquitted by the Abuja High Court, sitting at Apo recently, after the court thoroughly examined the former minister, and finally acquitted him?
What about the much publicized Justice Ademola Adeniyi and wife, Olubowale’s case, with its attendant 18 count charges as alleged by the Federal Government, but was in the end dismissed by a High Court in Maitama, the Federal capital Territory?
Have we forgotten in hurry how a Federal High Court in Lagos unfroze former first Lady Patience Jonathan’s accounts containing over $5.9m, after all the brouhaha that trailed the media trial of the case?
It was actually the EFCC that initiated the case and the former first Lady rose to the debacle and in the long run again, got the Federal government trounced in the matter.
And now, the Bukola Saraki’s case with its attendant braggadocio, the power play that trailed it, and the media propaganda that laced it– now everything has suddenly disappeared and Saraki, now a free man. What a government!
It is here I align myself with the pains of the chairman, presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-corruption, PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay, SAN when he expressed shock and concern following the loss of the case.
“I was shocked myself by the ruling. The amount of evidence amassed against him (Mr.Saraki) was considerable; so, I am surprised it said no prima facie had been made against him” Sagay told Premium Times of June 15th, 2017.
One is therefore, deeply worried over the government’s campaign against corruption and its eventual losses of cases on a daily basis by the government’s legal team.
Nigerians are bothered to their marrow over the continuous loss of corruption cases here which out rightly convey and send the signal our central government maybe lacking in either human resources or dearth of evidences in its quest to combat corruption here.
But I wonder how and why because this is the first ever government since the history of Nigeria with a professor of Law as its vice president, as well as a professor as its presidential adviser on the said corruption.
The government must therefore, at this juncture get its acts right in the war against corruption by looking inwards towards finding out the reasons behind its losses in virtually, every court.
While that is noted, they must again, downsized its legal team where necessary and re-admit where mostly needed for a successful war against corruption since that was the premise upon which their mandate was built.
This must be done so urgently so as to resuscitate its tottering and dimming belief Nigerians have on its war against corruption, else, the growing notion among Nigerians the regime is gradually becoming a “ government of trials and error” will continue to gain more ground.
Gwiyi Solomon writes from Abuja.
By Gwiyi Solomon