Michael Aondoakaa, Former AGF, Should Be Investigated and Tried

by Paul I. Adujie

Michael Aondoakaa since the middle of 2007 was Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister for Justice. It is great news that with immediate effect, starting from February 10, 2010 Michael Aondoakaa ceases for good, to be Nigeria’s Justice Minister. Going forward, it is important to review the actions , pronouncements and neglects to act during the subsistence and tenure of Michael Aondoakaa’s Attorney Generalship. He will be remembered as intransigent and utterly recalcitrant.

It would have been anathema to logic, law and good sense, to allow Mr. Aondoakka to remain Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister for Justice, bearing in mind that he advocated and defended the constitutional violations, breaches and infractions which were committed by President Umaru Musa YarAdua, the president who it was, who foisted power vacuum and power void upon Nigeria for 80 days, due to his neglect and continued refusal to obey the laws of Nigeria and comply with clear and specific sections of the Constitution of Nigeria. He would have had the singular misfortune of arguing both sides

It would have been absurd, ridiculous and even obnoxiously nauseating to have former AGF Michael Aondoakaa, now, attempting to speak from both sides of his mouth, if he was allowed to remain Nigeria’s AGF, he would have now have to explain, justify and defend the National Assembly’s decision to vote to install Vice President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as Acting President, a position, which is diametrically opposed to the position held by Mr. Aondoakaa in defense of President YarAdua’s absence from presidential duties during the preceding 80 days.

Those 80 days during which President YarAdua neglected and refused to obey section 145 of the Constitution of Nigeria, which specifically mandate any president of Nigeria to intimate the National Assembly of his or her absence from presidential duties for a day, a week or a month.

Mr. Aondoakaa’s previously held “legal” view, is a direct affront and contradiction to the position and action taken by the National Assembly, which led to the assumption of duty of the VP as Acting President, until the substantive president, President YarAdua returns or until further notice; Mr. Aondoakaa on the one hand, and the National Assembly, and the Acting President, on the other hand, are in opposite stances and at extreme of two spectrum.

Considering the opprobrious actions in which Mr. Aonaoakaa was engaged in the matter of President YarAdua’s absence from presidential duties for about 80 days, and the failure, neglect and refusal to comply with succinctly stated provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria, it is now an imperative that Mr. Aondoakka be investigated for his defense of indefensible illegalities. Mr. Aondoakaa’s conduct also amounts to a breach of legally ethical conduct prescribed for Nigerian lawyers and lawyers elsewhere

Additionally, it have been clear all along, that Mr. Aondoakaa’s actions and pronouncements during the course of his two years tenure as the AGF and Minister of Justice, have been controversial, to say the least.

Mr. Aondoakaa presided over the dismantling and disabling and emasculation of the former leader of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, and the EFCC nomenclature itself.

Mr. Aondoakaa empowered particular individuals, his friends, mentors, his acolytes and a cabal, all at the expense of Nigerian institutions and at immeasurable costs to the Nigerian society and nation.

It is also public knowledge, that Mr. Aondoakaa’s actions, pronouncements and subterfuge served to undermine many criminal trials in Nigeria, Britain and in the United States, trials which were directed at tackling corruption, corrupt persons and corrupt practices. It suffices to mention trials which involved Mr. James Onanefe Ibori in Asaba, Delta state and in London, England. Both these trials were stalled, undermined and made irrelevant no thanks, to Mr. Aondoakaa, the former AGF and Minister for Justice

It is quite crucial that the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Nigeria Bar Association and others interested in good governance and the sundry goodness of Nigeria, must undertake a scrutiny and a thorough forensic analysis and examinations of actions and opprobrious neglects of Michael Aondoakaa while he “served” as Attorney General and Minister for Justice.

Mr. Michael Aondoakaa played various unsavory, unethical and utterly illegal roles in perpetuating the recently terminated power vacuum and power void which last for about 80 days, during which President Umaru Musa YarAdua, neglected and refused to comply with clear, unambiguous provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria which stipulates and requires the transmission of a letter as a predicate for triggering the vice president to become an acting president any time the substantive president is absent from presidential duties, whether in sickness and in excellent health.

Michael Andoakaa repeatedly misinterpreted provisions of our nation’s constitution, provisions which were glaringly clear in their specificity. In engaging in these upside down reading of the constitution of Nigeria, Mr. Aondoakaa participated in leading Nigeria close to catastrophe and precipice of disaster

Michael Aondoakaa may also have aided and abetted the perpetration of frauds upon Nigerians and Nigeria, when he lied with statements suggesting that President YarAdua could administer and govern Nigeria from an undisclosed location is Saudi Arabian hospital.

Michael Aondoakaa was also an active participant in perpetuating the fraud of the alleged signing by President YarAdua of a so-called Supplementary Appropriation or Budget for Nigeria

Additionally, there were major incidents in Nigeria within the purview of Mr. Michael Aondoakaa as Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister for Justice and the most prominent among these, is the extra judicial killings engaged in, by some police and law enforcement agents in Nigeria, but sadly, there was no reaction from Nigeria’s chief law officer, not even a murmur!

There were many instances in which Michael Aondoakaa as Attorney General and Minister for Justice became part of the numerous legal problems Nigeria faced during his tenure. Prominent and highest in profile among these, is the extra judicial killings which took place in Maiduguri, during and in the aftermath of the Boko Haram uprising in Maiduguri in Borno State, Nigeria.

Maiduguri in Borno State Nigeria is one of my hometowns in Nigeria. I lived in Maiduguri when the Maitasine religious fringe group engage in anti social and violent behaviors in early 1980s. The recently, there was also the riotous violence which was wrought upon Maiduguri by Boko Haram extremist group.

There is a videotape with the imprimatur of Al Jazeera making the rounds on the internet, portraying horrific, horrendous and heinous extra judicial killings by some members of Nigeria’s law enforcement agencies, uniformed and some without uniforms. These law enforcement agents engaged in murderous brutalities against Nigerians, and with such impunity, and lawlessness that would make even an armed robber cringe! The Al Jazeera video is require viewing and must see, for all members of Nigeria’s National Assembly, the executive branch and our entire strata of judiciary branch.

Viewing this Al Jazeera video gives and adds new meaning to the question, what is the value of human life in Nigeria? Or why would law enforcement agents summarily execute fellow citizens, even if such citizens were engaged in violent criminal behaviors?

This Al Jazeera video is so repugnant, so reprehensible and debasing of our collective sense of human decency, morality, religion and law. The video clearly portrays the fact that there some elements in our law enforcement agencies, willing to murder fellow Nigerian citizens, even when such police and law enforcement officer had no concern for their own safety, there were no immediate threat to thei

r persons!

The video clearly shows cold-blooded murders, in which victims were asked to talk a walk or lay down, face down, as the law enforcement officers shot these fellow Nigerians, at pointblank in murderous executions! I would have vigorously and vehemently rejected these sorts of behavior on the part of any Nigerian, except because I actually have had the misfortunes of watching this Al Jazeera video!

Why is there no public outcry and uproar in Nigeria in reaction to this Al Jazeera video? Is this the “new” normal in Nigeria? Why is no one taking Mr. Michael Aondoakaa the former AGF and Minister for Justice to tasks? Why is the Police Affairs Minister, and the Inspector General of Police silent about this video?This is quite similar to the Apo Six murders in Abuja, and other extra judicial murders which have occurred in recent times, and nationwide in Nigeria

Why are the perpetrators, who were caught on video, not facing trial for homicides? When is the reprimand going to come? When are heads going to roll?

In all of these, what did Mr. Aondoakaa do to enforce the law, the constitution and human rights?

He stood for something? He stood for opprobrium! He was not standing for Nigerians or Nigeria. He stood for a clique, and a cabal of the self-absorbed greedy and gluttonous class in Nigeria, who were splendidly uninterested in the pursuit of Nigeria’s national interests, except their own selfish, myopic and parochial interests which run counter to our national strategic interests.

Mr. Michael Aondoakaa is first and foremost a lawyer, therefore, with or without government investigation, trial and punishment or reprimand, the Nigerian Bar Association or the NBA, can investigate and sanction Mr. Aondoakaa, through censure, suspension and even disbarment. A Lawyer may be sanctioned for unethical behavior, a lawyer may therefore be suspended from the practice of law for a period of time or he or she could have his or her license to practice law, yanked.

What the Nigerian Bar Association can do, is to determine whether Mr. Aondoakaa as AGF, engaged in unethical and illegal conduct in his obvious zeal to “serve” his masters in People Democratic Party or the PDP. It should be remembered and highlighted that Mr. Aondoakaa is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria!

Investigating Michael Aondoakaa is crucial. He should be held accountable. Accountability will enhance and moderate future behaviors of future Justice Ministers. It will curb impunity and lawlessness. But even in accomplishing all these, we must ensure that no efforts is spared, to avoid the appearance of vengeful and vindictive pursuit of anyone, including this former AGF and Justice Minister. There must be no appearance of vendetta in any actions which should taken auditing him and holding him account for his illegal, unconstitutional and unethical behaviors in which he engaged, while he was AGF and Minister.

Mr. Aondoakaa as Attorney General and Minister for Justice was Nigeria’s number one law officer and symbol of all that is law and constitutional. But, he unfortunately, exemplified complete disregard for the Constitution of Nigeria during his two year tenure. He violated, breached and shred our constitution and he aided, abetted, conspired, connived, colluded and encouraged same in many others

Auditing, and holding violators to account for their breaches, will ensure transparency among current public officials now, and in the future. This will strengthen the ideals of The Rule of Law, Constitutionalism, Democracy in Nigeria, and enthrone a great society, this is good for Nigeria

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1 comment

Seember February 18, 2010 - 12:18 pm

My comment is that Yar Adua was probably too sick to write anything; i maean do u expect a someone whose heart suddenly fails to start drafting a letter? At the time of the interview with BBC, he probably just started speaking. So the blame in this circumstance lies with the upholders of the constitution who did not impeach him when they found him incapacitated. they were doing that to protect their seats in government….


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