Saturday, 12 November 2016

Corruption Saga: Why GEJ Might Not Appear In Court As A Witness - Ijaw leader Speaks Out

Updated 13 November, 2016
The former president Goodluck Jonathan might not be appearing as a defence in the ongoing trial of his former national security adviser. 

Sources said the former president is neither an accused person nor a party to the case. 

Also an Ijaw leader said the mention of Jonathan’ name in the matter either as a witness or party joined in the case is unthinkable.

The former president Goodluck Jonathan might not be appearing as a defence witness in the criminal trial of his former national security adviser Sambo Dasuki, a source has said.

Gisthall reports that the former president had not indicated interest in making any form of appearance at Dasuki’s trial. 

The source who spoke to Punch said Jonathan has so far, not been named as party in case and for that reason may not appear during the trial of any of his aides. 

It was also gathered that sources familiar with case said the former president is not an accused person or a witness in the matter.

A close ally to the former president said: “Why should he appear? He (Jonathan) is not a party to the suit and we are aware that a few persons are desperate to humiliate our former President by dragging him into all this.” 

The ally who spoke under anonymity said mentioning Jonathan’s name is aimed at destabilizing his team. 

He also said the former president has promised not to give in to the crafts of the enemies of Nigeria by doing so. Meanwhile effort to reach Ikechukwu Eze, the media aide to former president Jonathan was not successful. 

However, an Ijaw leader and the national chairman, Ogbia Brotherhood, a group under the umbrella body of the kinsmen of the former President, Chief Benson Agadaga, described any request made to Jonathan to testify in court as “unthinkable and insulting.”

Agadaga said approval for release and disbursement of the infamous $2.1 billion arms deal was appropriately given. He said there were also records to show if the disbursement of the said money failed to follow due process. Agadaga said: “The security agencies should have investigated everything, they know what is there. 

To ask him (Jonathan) to go and testify is an insult. many other former Presidents have testified in the court? We have yet to see that.” “The approval was given for the money to be disbursed and it was disbursed the way it was wanted. But if the money was disbursed other than what was approved, the records are there to show. I am sure all these things have been documented. The documents should speak for themselves.

“Asking him to go to court to testify is an insult. They are demoralizing him. Have they asked former President Shehu Shagari to go to court? Has former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, gone to court any day? Have former Military President Ibrahim Babangida, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and others gone to court? “If you want to fight corruption, should it be with Jonathan alone? 

Is Jonathan the originator of corruption in Nigeria? Corruption has been in Nigeria before now. And if people are to be probed, like what happened in Ghana, all the former Heads of State should be probed. If they want to probe corruption, it should start from Shagari’s time. Nobody is an angel.” 

The Ijaw leader also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to focus on the economy, stressing that the hardship in the country was becoming too much. “I think the Federal Government should focus on how to alleviate the hardship in the country for things to be better for all than to ask Jonathan to go to court. “If you are fighting corruption, make it universal. If it is universal and you are dealing with Mr. B according to how you are dealing with Mr. A, nobody will complain.

“But this is very clear. Even a small child knows that it is the opponents of this government that are being persecuted. How many members of the All Progressives Congress have been arraigned anywhere? Are they not corrupt? By now, one would have seen that he has disciplined one or two APC members in his cabinet or present governors of the APC. I do not see any of them being investigated. It is very clear that it is a one-sided approach,” he said. 

Meanwhile, the Ijaw Youth Council also affirmed that the former president would not testify for anybody. The spokesperson for the council Eric Omare, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption appeared to be an instrument of victimization against perceived political opponents. “All these calls and talks about the former President are aimed at humiliating him (Jonathan),” Omare said. 

Dasuki is facing criminal trial for disbursing $2.1 billion popularly referred to as the DasukiGate to various individuals and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). 

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