Posted by News Express | 26 December 2015 | 3,541 times
Immediate past president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, yesterday broke his silence on the alleged $2.1 billion spurious arms deal by his administration, blasting legal luminary, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), over his statement that Jonathan should confess his involvement in the deal before he is arrested.
Jonathan faulted Sagay over the statement saying that as a respected learned scholar, he should know that you don’t hang a suspect on the pages of newspapers or via social media until he or she is found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
The former president in a statement issued by Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, his former Minister of National Planning, stated: “One should expect the respected learned scholar to know that you don’t hang a suspect on the pages of newspaper or via social media until he or she is found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.”
Prof. Sagay, who is also chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption, had recently advised Jonathan to approach President Muhammadu Buhari and secretly confess all he knew about the alleged $2.1 billion arms scam, to which his name has been linked by some of those being tried in connection with the issue.
Sagay stated during the week that if Jonathan goes by the advice, he may be accorded the respect due to him by virtue of being a former president.
Sagay, however pointed out that the case of the former president being arrested relating to the arms scandal is a “sensitive one”, adding that his concession of defeat to Buhari during the March 28 presidential election does not make Jonathan a hero, as one good action could not correct several evil deeds.
In his response through Dr. Sulaiman, Ex-President Jonathan said the statement credited to Prof Sagay on December 23 is not only unfortunate but also unprofessional.
Parts of the statement read: “Accordingly, even where the learned jurist feels passionate of such a sensitive but sensational issue, he should know the right route to the villa rather than taking such prejudicial position.
“It is high time our legal luminaries confined themselves to the noble ethics of their profession than toeing the path of some mischief politicians.
“And we pray that when the report of his Committee finally comes out, it will reflect and incorporate the noble principles of rule of law, fair hearing and impartiality so as to meet the irreducible minimum standard expected in matters of this nature. We also pray that it may not end up dashing, rather than raising the hopes of average Nigerian in the vintage APC fashion, as with most things these days.”
•Adapted from a Saturday Sun report. Photo shows Ex-President Jonathan.
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