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Monday, 5 June 2017

Peregrino Brimah: Why Pastor Yemi Osinbajo should step up or step down

Nigeria belongs to no one but belongs to all of us. No one should hold Nigeria to ransom and nor should anyone allow himself be a tool used to keep the nation in suspended animation. Every moment lost can never be recovered. It is to this brutal reality that I refuse to be tribal or political and advice Nigeria’s Vice president to either step up to the plate or step down…or at least threaten to, if higher forces compel him to fail in his obligations and involve him in the perpetration of crimes against the constitution and humanity.

As a Pastor and Senior Advocate, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo understands this perhaps better than any one of us. The visit last month by prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, ICC, Ms Fatou Bensouda to review various allegations of crimes against humanity and alleged violations of the Rome Statute should also have pinged associated centers in the cerebral Vice president’s mind.




It is over a month since the conclusion date of the panel on the alleged atrocities of SGF Babachir Lawal and NIA boss Ayodele Oke. Why have we not been informed of the conclusions of the panel and the initiation of due proceedings agains the two accused culprits?

The Nigerian Senate indicted SGF Babachir Lawal since January of this year, calling Buhari’s anti-corruption war “selective.” That makes it four months since the suspended Secretary of the federation has been accused of massive looting of funds meant for the development of the Boko Haram-plagued northeast. Have we as a people totally lost our compassion? If due process was followed and the “illegal” and constitutionally toothless panel not constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari to “obstruct” and delay justice, should the SGF not ordinarily have first been arrested and then bailed as proceedings continued by the authorities with the tools and constitutional authority to investigate his alleged crimes? Why has acting president Yemi Osinbajo left the SGF for one extra month, in avoidance of justice and to the heart-stabbing of the people of the northeast?

Have the victims of Boko Haram, dying every day of starvation, not suffered enough in the hands of the terrorists that they should be again robbed from, and those who allegedly did so are still employees of the Federal government?

Again, the case of the $43 million Ikoyi stash hangs in the balance with justice being delayed. Justice delayed is justice denied, they say. Nigeria as a whole suffered naira devaluation value due to the extraction of FOREX from the central bank to sponsor illegal activities and political campaigns of the last government. The $289 million released by former president Goodlcuk Jonathan from an oil account to the NIA on February 14th 2015 as reports detail, the day of the postponed elections, is one such FOREX fund that contributed to the economic recession and tanking of the naira. Why has the acting president and former attorney failed to conclude that case and recommend action?

Nigerians are privy to embarrassing information that the wife of the suspended NIA boss was involved in illegally purchasing the Ikoyi flat with raw cash. These are unbelievable revelations. A month has passed since the panel concluded its sitting, why are we as a nation not briefed on the outcome and the necessary actions including the expected sack of the suspended NIA boss and his anticipated arrest?

While we see these delays and obstructions of justice, the same vice president, now in acting presidential capacity, presides over matters where Nigerians who have been detained without charge are being held by the government in some cases for over a year in contempt of court. Is this not justice turned on its head and a crime in the Church of God?

Upright Presidential advisory committee on corruption chair, Itse Sagay has called on Pastor Osinbajo to obey the court and release Dasuki, Zakzay and his wife, Zeenat, but Pastor Osinbajo refuses. The same Pastor who in concert with ailing President Muhammadu Buhari stand guilty of delaying justice and shielding perpetrators of suspected grave crimes in the cases of SGF Babachir and NIA boss Oke are the same duo in command who hold these other citizens in flout of court order. Do we all not see a serious and worrisome posture from those we elected into power to bring change?

Attorney Femi Falana SAN asked the acting president to sanction minister of information Lai Mohammed and presidential spokesman Garba Shehu. I submit that Falana was playing games and being partial to the truth. The attorney who represents one of the victims knows that the minister of information and presidential spokesman are only official mouthpieces of Buhari and Osinbajo. What they say are the words of the Presidency. Femi Falana who I deeply respect was afraid to call out his colleague, Yemi Osinbajo SAN who is the head of the government and is the one culpable in the statements made by the two spokesmen.

If the position of the APC administration is that “in national security interests” as Lai Mohammed said on behalf of Buhari and Osinbajo, the APC government can and has flouted court orders, how can we as Nigerians be assured that if this APC government loses elections they will not likewise not refuse to hand over, citing “national security issues?” There is grave danger in the reactivation of Decree 2 by the Buhari government that all Nigerians should be terrified about.

If Buhari was Donald Trump he would have side-stepped the US judiciary and imposed the “Muslim ban.” This is how ridiculous what is happening in Nigeria is. Nigeria’s judiciary is being destroyed by the executive in ways it cannot recover from in hundreds of years.

Two years on we see that the Buhari government is unable to try Dasuki, continuously fails to bring him to court and simply keeps him in meaningless house arrest. We see the albeit partial Kaduna judicial panel submit its results and despite Buhari’s promise to act on its recommendations, nothing done a year and a half after the horrific incident. Is this what we campaigned and voted for? Do we expect kindness from God when we tolerate these things and are silent or speak from a tribalistic, political or sectarian point of view instead of in seeking justice as the Bible (Proverbs 24:24-25) and Quran (chapter 4:135) recommend?

It is time we tell ourselves the truth as Nigerians. It was this lack of truth that allowed Boko Haram, a rag-tag group of bandits become the world’s most deadly terror organisation to our discredit. It is this lack of truth that has kept Nigeria in a bind and made suffering our destiny in this country.

Therefore I call on the Vice president in acting capacity to either step up to the plate, because I believe he knows what is right in the above and other cases and only delays or dodges it due to cabal override on him, or protest to step down. What if any of those illegally detained dies in custody?, do the Vice and President think of these things? And in the event that Pastor and Attorney Osinbajo is in support of these abuses of process, then he should step down for violating his oath to serve the people and defend the constitution.




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