Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has advised President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) against paying heed to those criticising the arrest and detention of a former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki; the founder of Daar Communications, Chief Raymond Dokpesi; and other suspects involved in the disappearance of $2.1bn form the office of the former NSA, money meant for the procurement of arms.
Falana, in a statement on Sunday, faulted the claim by some lawyers that the order obtained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). from a magistrate’s court to detain some of the suspects for 14 days had no legal basis.
The human rights lawyer stated that the order of detention obtained by the anti-graft agency from the magistrate’s court, through an ex parte application, was in accordance with the provisions of sections 293 to 299 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
Falana further maintained that the suspects under the law reserve the right to ask for bail.
He said, “As corruption is already mobilising to fight back, the Buhari administration should ignore the reckless campaign of calumny of certain people, who have lost their sense of shame.”
The senior advocate stated that all the critics were concerned about is that, “the suspects should be left alone to enjoy their loot while soldiers are losing their precious lives due to lack of adequate weapons”.
He appealed to the Buhari-led Federal Government to open a dedicated account for recovered loot, which should be used to equip the Armed Forces and take care of other public needs.
Falana added, “The anti-graft agencies should disregard the cheap blackmail, speed up the investigation and charge all indicted suspects to court while the courts are enjoined to conduct the trial of the suspects under the ACJA, which requires that the trials be conducted day by day.
“The Federal Government should open a dedicated account to warehouse the recovered loot with a view to using the fund to provide equipment for the Armed Forces, create jobs for our Army of unemployed graduates and fix our dilapidated public schools, hospital and roads.”
Falana said the act of individuals that “cornered and shared the huge fund earmarked for the procurement of military hardware constitutes grave crime against humanity as the military faced the insurgents, who are well equipped, “with unserviceable equipment on the grounds that there was no money to purchase new weapons.”
He said, “The total missing fund is $6bn. In the light of the earth-shaking and ear-aching revelations oozing out of the EFCC to the effect that a handful of individuals cornered and shared the huge fund earmarked for the procurement of military hardware to prosecute the war on terror, all the convicted military officers and soldiers, who have been convicted, including the 70 who were sentenced to death, should be released forthwith.
“As I have repeatedly maintained, the soldiers were committed and sentenced to death for asking for weapons to fight the terrorists. They were ordered to fight with unserviceable equipment on the grounds that there was no money to purchase new weapons. In the process, the well-equipped insurgents routed and massacred thousands of the country’s ill-equipped soldiers due to the diversion of the fund set aside to purchase equipment.
“The suspects must bear full responsibility for committing such grave crimes against humanity. Consequently, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, we have applied for a certified true copy of the report of the arms procurement panel with a view to ensuring that some of the suspects are prosecuted by the Special Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.”
Falana also urged the Federal Government to ensure that all those indicted in the criminal diversion of public funds are made to face “the full wrath of the law.”[DailyPost]
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