Posted by News Express | 19 August 2014 | 3,554 times
Lagos monarch Rilwanu Akiolu threatened yesterday to make revelations that will shake Nigeria after the 2015 general election.
Oba Akiolu spoke at the public presentation of a book “Corruption and human rights law in Africa”, authored by Dr. Kolawole Olaniyan. He was replying to a statement credited to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, that only two of the country’s renowned monarchs are free of corruption.
Oba Akiolu said he would reveal top secrets that could not be disputed by those who think their hands are clean, but refused to give further details when approached after the event.
He lambasted the monarch who alleged that he lifted oil and collected contracts during the Abacha regime, noting that he was a police man during that era.
On corruption, Oba Akiolu said over 90 per cent of Nigerians are corrupt, adding that the way out is for all hands to be on deck.
He said: “I will shake this nation after the election in February. The man who made the statement that I lifted oil should cover his face in shame because I was still a serving police officer. Those who collected Abacha money know themselves and I will quote witnesses.
“Let us stop apportioning blames, forget the past and work towards a better future for this country.
“Do not put 100 percent blame on President Goodluck Jonathan because the person who caused the problem knows himself.”
Continuing, the monarch said elections could not be rigged in Lagos, adding that Lagosians were fully prepared to ensure that their votes and good governance count.
“Nigeria’s problem is not caused by one person. We should be close to God and make things better. We must assist the government to earn the challenges of insurgency and Ebola,” he said.
Chairman of the occasion, rights activist-lawyer Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), and All Progressives Congress (APC) spokesman Lai Mohammed accused President Jonathan of fuelling corruption by embracing his appointees accused of corrupt practices.
Falana, acknowledging that the present administration has recorded a milestone in recovering over $2.9 billion of the General Sani Abacha loots, noted that the government was yet to account for the whereabouts of the funds.
Commending the author for “a great job”, Falana said corruption had crept into all facets of national life, noting that the government has not treated Ebola or insurgency in accordance with the law.
“The author looked at the issues of corruption and human rights in Africa and wonderfully linked them. Human rights are not respected because of massive corruption in the continent.
“The government is not addressing the Ebola crisis under the law. There is a Quarantine Act enacted in 1926, which says carriers of dreadful diseases should be fished out and quarantined.
“But, at the moment, we do not know how many people are affected in the country.
“Also, Boko Haram is being fought in a corrupt way. All dead soldiers’ names are unknown. Immediately a soldier dies, his family is ejected from the barracks within two weeks.
“Jonathan’s administration has killed the good work against corruption. It is only Abacha that has been harassed, of all those accused of corruption and it is because he is no longer alive.
“No country has succeeded in receiving loot like Nigeria. We have done well in tracing the over 140 Abacha bank accounts across the world and we have recovered $2.9 billion, although we cannot trace the recovered money.”
In an interview after the event, Mohammed said President Jonathan should have suspended all his appointees accused of corruption instead of protecting them.
He wondered how a minister accused of corruption would take the National Assembly to court without the President’s knowledge.
Said Mohammed: “The root cause of corruption is bad leadership. It is not a disease with a one prescription cure. If the political and economic policies of a government cannot give assurance to the common man or guarantee security of tenure, the tendency is for whoever is there to see himself as a temporal occupant.
“However, the body language of the leader or whoever is there would determine if corruption will be a norm or not.
“I was the Chief of Staff of a governor and I could not imagine how any commissioner would have taken the state House of Assembly to court without the governor’s knowledge. Don’t forget every commissioner is an appointee of the governor.
“When a Minister takes the National Assembly to court and the president pretends not to be aware, what message does that send? Under Obasanjo and late Yar’Adua, ministers were suspended on allegations of corruption.
“If you are suspended to be investigated, you have not been declared guilty. But when you now shield these officers, one begins to wonder the message you are sending.”
The chief went on: “About six months ago, innocent job seekers were asked to pay certain amount of money for Immigration job. At the end, about 16 lives were lost. Till date, no refund has been made to the applicants, no indictments and the minister is still occupying office. What message does that send?”
Mohammed accused security agencies of being too partisan under the Jonathan administration, using his experience with the Directorate of State Security (DSS) during the Osun election as example.
Noting that he had filed charges against the (DSS) in court, Mohammed said: “I was shocked when the SSS spokesperson said it was legitimate for the SSS to wear hoods. I know that any security agency, which wants to operate publicly must be identified and putting on hoods does not identify you. What is the difference between you and (Boko Haram leader Abubakar) Shekau, if you start wearing hoods?
“I was going about my lawful business in Osun and SSS said I was picked up for loitering. We all know there is no offence as loitering in Nigeria.”
•Adapted from a Nation report. Photo shows Oba of Lagos, Alhaji Rilwan Akiolu.
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