Ogun State’s PDP Governorship candidate during the 2019 election, Senator Buruji Kashamu, has commended Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari over the arrest of the former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohmammed Adoke (SAN).
Adoke was arrested by the International Criminal Police in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, according to his lawyer.
The arrest came seven months after Nigeria’s anti-graft agency issued a warrant for his arrest as part of an investigation into one of the oil industry’s biggest suspected corruption scandals.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday, Senator Kashamu said the arrest was proof that the fight against corruption being championed by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was working.
The statement reads in part,
“The arrest of ex-AGF Adoke is another step in the right direction in the anti-graft war of the President Buhari-led administration.
“It is gratifying that the long arm of the law has caught up with Adoke in spite of his attempts to wriggle out of the intricate web of corruption that he is trapped in.”
“It is discomfiting how people get into public office, abuse the trust reposed in them and then turn round to avoid being held accountable for their actions and inactions.
“It is good that yesterday’s men of power like Adoke are being made to account for their actions while in office.
“As AGF, Adoke carried on as if he was law unto himself. He acted with impunity and high degree of lawlessness.
“It was difficult to imagine that he was the Chief Law Officer of the Federation.
“How could the nation’s Chief Law Officer have engaged in unlawful acts? Now, the day of reckoning is here; and he is running from pillar to post to avert being held to account for his deeds while in office.
“The law of Karma has caught up with him; what goes around comes around.
“I commend and congratulate President Buhari, the INTERPOL and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the arrest of Adoke.
“The move has shown that the law is no respecter of persons. People can run but they cannot hide.
“I think it is high time we decided what we want as a people. We cannot say because we are in a democracy, people who abused their offices and the trust reposed in them by the public should be left to enjoy their loot.
“Public officers involve themselves in mindless looting of the commonwealth and then use their ill-gotten wealth to hire the best lawyers, get bail and then continue to enjoy their loot.
“Any serious government that is determined to stem the tide must go beyond the ordinary way of doing things.
“President Buhari is a patriot. His love for Nigeria is unquestionable. That is why he is going all out to combat the monster called corruption. That is the biggest problem confronting us as a people.
“Once that is tackled and corrupt politicians and appointees are made to account for their actions and inactions as it is in Adoke’s case, it will serve as deterrence to others; and other things will fall in line.”
Stressing the incorruptibility of President Buhari, Kashamu said, “In 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari and some ministers returned the sum of N118 billion to the national treasury as unused capital budget for the 2017 fiscal year.
“The last time that happened was in 2008 during the time of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua when some ministries returned appropriated but unspent funds to the government’s coffers.”
While calling on all Nigerians to support the anti-corruption activities of the government, Kashamu said by blocking every opportunity of stealing and recovering stolen money, the plan of the Federal Government to take 10 million poor Nigerians out of poverty every year would become a reality.
Kashamu noted that unless the whole country rose against corrupt public officials, real development would remain a mirage in Nigeria.
“Every naira stolen from the public coffers is a setback for the country because it means our roads, hospitals, schools and electricity would not be fixed.
“If we keep condoning corruption, it means we are sentencing ourselves as well as generations unborn into hardship, poverty and backwardness,” he said.
Kashamu noted that it was as a result of the adverse effects of corruption on the generality of the populace that some countries had embraced capital punishment as penalty for corruption, adding “While I would not advocate that, every corrupt public officer should have a rendezvous with justice.”
He added, “When public office holders operate with the consciousness that they will one day be called to account for their actions in office, then public funds would be judiciously utilised and the nation will be the better for it.”
Adoke is facing criminal charges bordering on alleged abuse of office and money laundering with respect to the granting of Oil Prospecting Licence (245) to Shell and ENI, brought against him and four others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
His arrest was sequel to a warrant issued against him by a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja on April 17, as well as against a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dan Etete, and four others over the OPL 245 scandal.
However, in response to the arrest, Adoke’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome was reported by Reuters to have said; “We have written to Dubai authorities, the EFCC (anti-graft agency), and the Nigerian authorities to free Adoke to allow him to go on with his medical treatment in Dubai,”
Ozekhome also added that the arrest warrant had, in fact, expired after being nullified by a court in October, because Adoke was not served with the charges before the warrant was issued.
Reuters sent an email seeking comment from a government communication office in Dubai but received no response. Likewise, Nigeria’s EFCC and Interpol were not immediately available for comment.
Ozekhome said Adoke has appeared in court in Nigeria in the past over the OPL 245 case and was exonerated.