Pilot Law

Govt use corruption fight to victimise opponent


Titus Olasupo Ashaolu (SAN) is onetime Attorney-General of Kwara State who has carved special fort for himself in the legal profession. In this interview, he shares with KAYODE ADEOTI his views the present government among other sundry issues. Excerpts:

The issue of the former Chairman of the Pension Reforms Commission, Abdulrasheed Maina appears to be taking a dramatic twist as Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Ibrahim Malami has been indicted… can you put things in the right perspectives?
I’m not interested in the matter, this is a government who promised to fight corruption but the way they are going about it, the corruption is getting rooted in our system. It is not been fought effectively as expected. How do you want to explain the fact that someone who was dismissed was later reinstated and later promoted for no good reason, and all of these were done by who? Another strange thing about it is the fact that the matter indicted all the high levels persons in that sector. Some said he got a nod from the Attorney-General of the Federation, some argued it is the Head of Service even Permanent Secretary was mentioned. In fact, we were told at a time that the President was the one authorising him all along. When the matter was getting this complicated, I decided to take my mind off it because to me that is not the way to fight corruption. To fight corruption, one must be very strict, that is what is missing and that is why we have not been able to make any headway in the corruption saga. It’s only noise we are making about it, again, we want to believe, probably, government is using the fight to victimise political opponents. If Maina were to be on the side of opposing political party, you would have discovered that they would have gotten rid of him. The EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu is now been accused of corrupt practises too, this is somebody that has gone to the Senate about two times and they failed him. Yet our government insist he is the right person, not only that, it insists that if Magu is not going to be confirmed by the Senate, then, he will be in acting capacity. This means there is something behind the scene; it is as if government want to use him to cover something up. He’s not the only person in the police force; they said it’s the head of department in the force. If that is the case, we have many policemen in the country that are also trustworthy. He is not the only one that is honest nor is he the only one who can fight corruption. We all thought Buhari will do well when he was coming onboard, but looking at the ways he is managing the issue of corruption, we are not impressed. This government is entering its third year but up till now, we have not seen concrete thing it has done for the people and they’ve continued to blame the past government that was led by Goodluck Jonathan. Why can’t they forget the past and face the challenges ahead and let people see them performing. They have rather continued to blame the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led past administration and the likes.
They need to be focus because they have good manifestoes. They promised to employ people for job but people are losing their jobs on daily basis. They have to sit tight. And to sit tight now will be difficult because by next year, they will start campaigning for 2019 general election. No government get serious anymore, particularly when it gets to third year. They will start campaigning for their party and the election will take place beginning of 2019, there is no time for them again at all
On the issue of President Buhari’s bid to run for 2019 general elections, many people have faulted the ideas on the basis that his health might not permit him to perform effectively if eventually he won the election… how do you see this development in the face of law?
First, he has been going abroad for medical checkups, as Nigerians we all witnessed this. Most of the time he was there treating himself. If the party feels that he is the only person they have and they eventually pushes him forward for the second time, that is no issue, let us the leave the judgment in the hand of the electorate, but I believe they will vote him out, I’m not a politician but I’m reasonable enough to comment on the matter. As to the mind of the law, this is a party affair; and they can decide things on their own. There is nothing wrong for his coming back.

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