Friday 11 December 2015

I Will Drag Dasuki, Dokpesi, Bafarawa & Others Implicated In The Alleged $2.1 Billion Arms Deal, To The International Criminal Court (ICC) Next Week. - Femi Falana

Human rights lawyer and former president of West Africa Bar Association (WABA), Mr. Femi Falana, has vowed to drag the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and others implicated in the alleged $2.1 billion arms deal, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) next week.

Falana disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja at the maiden lecture and dinner organised by the Amnesty International (AI), while delivering a lecture on: “Promotion and Protection of human rights in Nigeria”, saying that the accused must be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.

He disputed media reports that President Muhammadu Buhari was engaging in impunity by detaining the alleged suspects for more than 48 hours, saying it was an outright lie.
The human rights activist further argued that the Administration of Criminal Law Act, which was enacted by the previous regime has empowered a magistrate on the application of the police or anti-graft agency to issue a remand order or detain those under investigation for more than 48 hours.

He said: “Last week some people were arrested. I think three of them principally (Dasuki, Raymond Dokpesi, and Attahiru Bafarawa). Again, contrary to media report, the suspects were not arrested for diverting the some of $2.1 billion as it has been reported by the press,  but for diverting and misappropriating and conerring $6 billion. I am talking of $2.1 billion and N643 billion.

“Now in any part of the world, this is a serious crime that affects the generality of Nigerians, that affects our right to development, that led to the untimely death of over 5,000 soldiers, and 20,000  civilians that have been massacred by the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists.

“This fund was earmarked for procuring military hardware to prosecute the war on terror,  but a gang of people sat down and resolved and decided to corner the fund, and continue to deceive our people that adequate weapons have been procured for our soldiers and therefore they are indolent, and cowardly by not fighting to defeat the Boko Haram sect.”
Falana continued: “Perhaps,  unlike most Nigerians I feel more pain. I feel more challenged, because I have defended scores of military officers and soldiers on pro-bono basis because I was convinced that these funds were diverted and therefore, why are you charging these innocent people with cowardly behaviour which attracts the death penalty.

“Those who stole the money meant for procuring arms must not go unchallenged, nobody must invoke human rights, no lawyer must be permitted to invoke human rights to cover these crimes against humanity.

“They went beyond just stealing and by next week we are filing a petition before the international Criminal Court (ICC) to ask that these guys be tried for crime against humanity because we are only talking of those who are alive, what of thousands that have been killed recklessly because of this kind of irresponsibility on the part of a few people.

“Let me clarify this, the right to liberty is guaranteed by Section 35 of the Nigerian constitution, as well as article 6 of the African Charter that nobody shall have his right to liberty taken away or abridged or violated. However, this is not an absolute right if there is reasonable suspicion that you have committed a criminal offence your right to liberty can be taken by the state.

“Therefore,  when you are told by the media that the Buhari regime is  engaging in impunity by arresting people without taking them to court within 48 hours is no longer in our law. I made this point on Sunday and no one has challenged me.

He said ordinary people were being put to jail in the magistrate and area courts daily but when it comes to rich men it becomes violation of human rights.
Speaking further, Falana said that Transparency International  issued an annual report and named  South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya as the three most corrupt African  countries. He said that while he was disputing that the assertion, he blamed western governments for collaborating with the local criminals to loot the treasury of African countries only to warehouse the funds in their countries.

“Transparency International is being hypocritical by saying Nigeria is more corrupt than Switzerland,  that is loose talk. Switzerland houses all the funds stolen by all dictators including dictators that have no records of how much they hold,  dictators that have died and nobody has the record of what is kept in Switzerland. So, TI will leave Switzerland alone and say Nigeria is corrupt. We are only a victim of corruption,” he clarified.

He pleaded with AI not to remain neutral in the fight against corruption in the country, but urged them to move speedily in promoting and defending socio-economic development.
Falana remarked: ”The Federal Government has a record of $2 billion recovered Abacha loot, but our former minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala claimed that only $500 million have been recovered. To help her, the World Bank has just issued a report, a package of lies, a 700-page report to say that this $500 million that was recovered under her watch was judiciously spent and they have listed roads that were not even in existence in Nigeria that were tarred. We are taking them on, and this will be the last time the World Bank will tell lies about this country.

“Contrary to the claim of the World Bank and the government of Nigeria, I say without any fear of contradiction that not less than $4 billion has been recovered from the Abacha loot. It is the most successful recovered loot in the world, and the records are there.  (Abdulsalami) Abubakar regime issued a decree, the forfeiture decree No 45 of 1999 where the regime claimed that it recovered about $1 billion; Obasanjo has just written some book, and am not sure he knew the implication, in the second volume of his ‘My Watch’, Obasanjo has admitted that he recovered $2 billion, £100 million and N10 billion,

“The Jonathan administration also recovered $970 million; the US government has helped us to recover $458 million last year. Buhari should set up an enquiry to investigate how the Abacha loot was relooted.”

The representative of the AI office, London, Mr. Thomas Schultz-Jagow, assured that AI would not shy away in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
Earlier, AI director in Nigeria, Ambassador Mahmut Ibrahim said AI was committed to relentlessly hold government accountable to its obligation and has a duty to protect human 

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