Mediocrity Rules In The Ministry Of Justice

by Akintokunbo A Adejumo

I have several questions for this man. Why isn’t the Attorney General taking a position or at least giving advice on the Speaker’s contract scam at the House of Representatives? Why isn’t he giving advice on how to prosecute the corrupt ex-Governors already charged to court? Why is he patently partisan in the case of one of the ex-Governors and seemingly frustrating the efforts of the EFCC to progress the case to its logical conclusion? Why is he constituting himself to be a stumbling block to the dispensation of justice? Why is he, and his Government, hiding under the guise of the Rule of Law, in continuation of the investigations and prosecutions of all the ex-Governors accused of corruption?

What is our Attorney-General’s take and position on the effect of the allegations and indictment of former governors accused of corruption and who are now Senators of the Federal Republic? Is their indictment not enough to negate their continued stay in the National Assembly?

One of our problems is that mediocres mostly constitute our national, states and local government leaderships. As a consequence of this, we are bound to have corrupt and inefficient, ineffective leaders, because mediocres try to hide their mediocrity by acquiring wealth at the expense of the people, making a lot of unnecessary noise and pretending to be all-knowing and intelligent. The charlatan also hides under the same cloak. They are always caught out eventually, because the truth about them will always out and their shortcomings exposed for all to see and when this happens, they start flexing muscles and exercising power and force and resort to bullying everybody around.

The invocation of the “Rule of Law” by our current administration has always been made in curiously defensive circumstances, as a result of great pressure from indicted ex-governors and party chieftains, and invariably; this will always be to the benefit, freedom, and, sometimes, escape of criminally indicted persons. I have argued about this matter of the invocation of the Rule of Law in other articles, that these people will invoke the Rule of Law when it suits them. This is now precisely what is happening. Well-meaning and sincere Nigerians should be very much concerned that the Rule of Law is now being used as an escapist strategy by the current administration to avoid bringing a lot of these corrupt ex-governors to justice. At present, what progress are we hearing about the cases against Nnamani, Orji Kalu, Nyame, Turaki and Dariye? Things seem to have died down and I wont be surprised if we never hear anything more about them. Then, what about other ex-governors who we know are even worse than the ones apprehended so far? What is our legal luminary Attorney General’s take or position on them?

Just a quick reference to the role of the Attorney General in most countries. In most common law jurisdictions, the Attorney-General is the main legal advisor to the government, and in some jurisdictions may in addition have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions. The Minister of Justice and Attorney General are combined into one cabinet position in some countries such as Nigeria. The Attorney General is the chief law officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Minister of Justice is concerned with questions of policy and their relationship to the justice system. The Attorney General has supervisory powers over the prosecution of criminal offences, but is not personally involved with prosecutions; however, some prosecutions cannot be commenced without his consent, and he has the power to halt prosecutions generally, but with good reasons.

The Attorney General, assisted by the Solicitor General, is also the chief legal adviser to the Government. They are responsible for ensuring the rule of law is upheld. In addition, the Attorney General also has certain public interest functions, for example, in taking action to appeal unduly lenient sentences. The Attorney General and the Solicitor General also deal with questions of law arising on Government Bills and with issues of legal policy. They are concerned with all major international and domestic litigation involving the Government.

These are what Chief Aondoakaa should be concentrating his apparently limitless energies on. There are too many issues in his office that he should be attending to rather than spending ninety percent of his energies on humiliating the EFCC or appearing to be subverting the course of justice or taking the sides of corrupt ex-governors. I cannot say it better than Fabiyi again, that “all of the policy somersaults that Yar’Adua’s administration has gone through have come about directly as a result of Aondoakaa’s interventions. And these are no mere policy somersaults, for in each case, the issues at stake have been matters that were critical to the very survival of Nigeria‘s political stability and the strengthening of its economic viability. Underlying Nigeria’s increasing economic attractiveness to global capital are two critical factors: the first is the acknowledgement by the international community that Nigeria, through the actions of the EFCC, appears to have finally shown a commitment to tackling corruption; the second is an increasing realization that Nigeria has an economic team in place that can consistently provide well considered policies that will bolster stability in the financial markets. Unless President Yar’Adua reins his Attorney General in, the gains that have been made in the last few years might be squandered”.

The Attorney General and Minister for Justice needs a re-think, because his actions seem to be eroding the policies and promises of his own government. Maybe he’s just power-drunk. Maybe he is still overwhelmed by his sudden rise to the pinnacle of his profession and the country’s leadership. Maybe he is just being overzealous. Maybe he is just a mediocre and does not have an idea of what damage, chaos and inconsistency he’s causing to his government’s credibility. Whatever it is, he is being contradictory and detrimental to the good intentions of his principal, the President. I believe Aondoakaa, from his posture, action and utterances, is not serving the best interest of the Nigerian public and the Constitution of Nigeria, but has a hidden personal agenda.

If Yar’Adua’s Government is sincere, and I like to believe this is so, I don’t see how Aondoakaa will see out four years in this crucial and important role. It is too appears much for him to handle.

You may also like

Leave a Comment