The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has commended the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the re-opening and resumption of activities on the Halliburton and Siemens bribery scandals with the aim of bringing those culpable to justice.

In a statement issued by Wale Salami, its Media Coordinator, CACOL said it was vindicated by the development.

Turning particular attention to the role of Mr. Mohammed Adoke Bello, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice in the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, CACOL said it had suspected that the Minister was going to abet corruption even before he assumed office, as a result of which it advised the Goodluck Jonathan-led government at the time not to appoint “proven incompetent people’’ as ministers.

“Adoke as the Attorney General of the Federation AGF; exhibited arrogance of impunity when he moved round the country to withdraw cases that the anti-graft agencies were painstakingly pursuing in the courts in a bare-faced effrontery to create escape routes for corruption criminals whose cases were in the courts,” the statement said. It added that the Minister actually acted like a hatchet-man who was on a mission to kill the anti-corruption drive of the country, noting that his antecedents even earned the notorious nickname, ‘Nolle Adoke’, for his ignoble role in seeking nullifications of several corrupt cases.

“Our suspicion came to bolder relief in year 2010 when we stumbled on information that the former Minister coordinated bribery scandals where spurious ‘legal fees’ involving up to about $26 million USD were paid to prosecution counsels even though the accused were never prosecuted in any court which led CACOL to play its’ role as a patriotic organisation with an objective to combat corruption; by blowing the whistle on Mr Adoke through protest marches backed with petitions to the EFCC and ICPC submitted on 26th July, 2011 at their Head Offices in Abuja,” CACOL recalled.

Commending the re-opening and resumption of activities on the two scandals, the group recalled its long pursuit of justice on them by its protests and petitions in which it specifically requested the investigation of Mr. Adoke urgently for his extortion.

Reiterating its focus on its objectives, CACOL recalled the recent words of its Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran, urging the EFCC to continue the process and to vigorously pursue the case or cases to logical conclusions within the ambit of the law.

“The EFCC should even look beyond the former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Joseph Daudu (SAN); the immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), Chief Godwin Obla (SAN), Mr. Damian Dodo (SAN), and Mr. Roland Ewubare for their alleged involvement in the $182m Halliburton scandal. Everyone else involved in the Halliburton and Siemens scandal must pay for their crimes, no matter who they are,’’ he stated.

He further reiterated the need for diligence in investigations, prosecutions and procedure, stressing that a situation where culprits of corruption escape justice based on wobbly prosecutions or investigations must be left in the past if the anti-corruption will be effective for Nigeria’s national development.

“When the culprits of corruption do not get punitive due to them for their crimes to serve as deterrent, then at best, the whole anti-corruption garb; of the present government, the agencies and citizens could described as a big charade.’’ Mr Adeniran added.

CACOL said its desire remains to see agencies of the government treat all suspected corruption criminals in the same way in order to send the appropriate message to innocent Nigerians that corruption is a shameful act, pointing out that this is in line with CACOL’s mantra: Name, Nail, Shame and Shun corrupt leaders anywhere, everywhere.

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