Why Ozekhome Wants Magu Dead! By Israel Olayiwola

     

 

In spite of the serious allegations of corruption levelled against the suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, he is presumed innocent until the contrary is proved by the federal government. Hence, decent citizens have insisted that the investigation of Mr. Magu must follow due process. But as far as Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN is concerned, Mr. Magu is already guilty as charged. Contrary to Chief Ozekhome’s condemnation and conviction of Mr. Magu, the authorities have listened to wise counsel by releasing him from unlawful custody.

However, Nigerians deserve to know that Chief Ozekhome lacks the moral right to condemn any person accused of corruption because he himself is corruption personified. In 1995, the Sani Abacha regime set up several probe panels to investigate corruption in many areas of our national life.

The Kayode Eso panel on corruption in the judiciary and the Pius Okigbo panel on mismanagement of the Central Bank of Nigeria performed the national assignment with patriotism and honesty. Chief Ozekhome served in the 7-man panel of inquiry instituted to probe, restructure and reorganize the Nigerian Customs. But the panel was disbanded due to allegations that the members had engaged in high level corruption.

Under the current civilian administration Chief Ozekhome has been involved in serious electoral malpractice. For instance, during the 2007 general election he was arrested with other armed thugs while snatching ballot boxes in Edo State. The senior lawyer was paraded by the police to the embarrassment of the Nigerian Bar Association.

 


The arrest was widely reported by the print and electronic media. In a report titled “Nigeria’s worst election” saharareporters gave the names of the election riggers in each state of the federation. In particular, Saharareporters edition of April 14, 2007  stated as follows: “EDO: massive voter fraud perpetrated by Chief Anthony Anenih-4 people killed in Ekpoma by PDP hired cultists. Adams Oshiomole of AC is rigged out. Akoko Edo, ex- human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome arrested with ballot boxes for PDP still detained.”

Since Chief Ozekhome was caught and arrested while rigging for the PDP, the Edo State Police Command was ordered to release him from detention by the ruling PDP at the Centre. The party also ensured other armed thugs and cultists arrested were not prosecuted. Out of sheer hypocrisy, the ex-election rigger has been commenting on the failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission to hold credible elections.

Another reason why Chief Ozekhome SAN wants Magu dead is that he was indicted for collecting N75 million from Mr. Ayo Fayose as legal fees which turned out to be from the proceed of the crime of money laundering. The efcc invited him for interrogation and arraignment. It was at that stage that he ran to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN for protection. The Vice President rightly advised the EFCC to await the outcome of the appeal which had been filed in the case so that the Buhari administration would not be accused of disrespecting the  Court of Appeal. Even though the appeal has not been decided by the Court of Appeal, Chief Ozekhome SAN has now twisted the story to say that he reported allegations of corruption against Mr. Magu to the Vice President!!!

Since Chief Ozekhome SAN claims that he had submitted evidence of corrupt practices committed by Mr. Magu, we challenge him to send a petition to the Justice Ayo Salami that is currently investigating allegations of corruption against the suspended EFCC boss. Alternatively, Chief Ozekhome SAN should submit his petition to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission (ICPC). If Mr. Magu is indicted he should be prosecuted. Since Chief Ozekhome SAN committed serious electoral offences and money laundering, and no statute of limitation against criminal offenses, he should be charged to court as nobody is above the law. Before then the garrulous fellow should stop insulting the Nigerian people.

Israel Olayiwola
Network for Accountability

Opinion

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Israel Olayiwola

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