Pilot Law

‘Magnitude of corruption renders anti-graft agencies ineffective’


Salman Adebayo Adelodun is a foremost Senior Advocates of Nigeria based in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital has over the years been able to carve a unique forte for himself in the legal profession. He speaks with our JUDICIARY CORRESPONDENT, KAYODE ADEOTI on how all hands must be on desk in order to combat the menace of corruption practices in Nigeria among other sundry issues. Excerpts:

Members of the public have continued to blame the National Assembly invasions by the operatives of the DSS on political game, how do you see this?

Politics should be played with high level of decency. If anyone tries to justify the national shame that happened on the ground of National Assembly under political manovery, it is saddened. That will be politics played too far. You don’t play politics to destroy an institution that was fought for to achieve, what happened that day has the tendency to rubbish our democracy. However, it cannot be justified under politics or under any parameter. It’s a shame but the Federal government has adequately and responsively responded to it, and that to me solved any issue that might still surface about it. If the acting President Yemi Osinbajo SAN hadn’t taken that action of dismissing the Director of DSS, Lawal Daura, then, there would been handsome sort of reactions in the country. That action was prompt and decisive to show that our government doesn’t encourage and condole irresponsibilities from any of its organs.

How do you attend to the assertion that this present administration is good at disobeying the rule of laws or order of the court considering cases of former National Security Adviser to the immediate past government, Sambo Dazuki, an Islamic movement leader, El-Zakyzaky who have been granted bail severely but were yet to be released by the police…?

I’ve not seen the full facts on these issues, because government will have reason for its actions. So it’s difficult for me to start judging here. I should know better as a lawyer that it’s wrong for me to start making comment on matter that is subjudice. If anything needs to be done on this matter, Dansuki has a lawyer and the law cannot be completely helpless on this issue. The law always has steps to be taken to redress any wrong. However, I can start praising or condemning one side without full facts at hands. 

Do you subscribe to the allegation that some set of people in the presidency have taken up the jobs of our anti-graft agencies?

I did not subscribe to that. I see EFCC working as well as the ICPC. Corruption in this country has assumed a dimension that it will take very drastic and concerted efforts for impacts to be felt. I believe these agencies are working but the magnitude, institutional, and systemic way of corruption have rendered ineffective efforts to make things work. For the agencies to succeed in his country, everybody must have a rethink, must have a new orientation to help the agencies because if we don’t, they cannot succeed. Everybody must be corruption fighter.

It seems the issue of corruption allegations against the former Minister for Petroleum, Diezani Madueke has been thrown under the carpet…?

Why would she be begging to be tried in Nigeria in the first place? She knew our system is weak, what she can do and get away with here, she might probably not be able to go scout free elsewhere. Corruption these days has no boundary, it is global. We don’t have Chinese, Japan corruption, it is the same all over. The world itself has become a global village in which what you do in Nigeria can have a ripple effect in a place as far as China. It is difficult to say that corruption started in a place and end there. However, it won’t be out of place to try corruption allegation anywhere in the world. Whether we like it or not, our system is not as strong as that of elsewhere.

How best can we then fight the menace of corruption?

Everyone must be alive to the fight against corruption. The law is not magic, it relies on fact and evidence, where these are lacking, there is nothing the law can do. Most Nigerians know corruption, harbour it and even protect it, when this is the situation, what can the law do? When the society decides that we don’t want it, then there will be no hiding place for any corrupt person. Nobody will be used as surrogate. We must have a new thinking, orientation. The effect of corruption has impact on majorly masses.

Looking at the issue of rituals killings especially in Kwara State from the moral perspective, how can we come out of it?

I don’t know, because in the first place, I don’t know how we found ourselves in this sorry and pitiable situation. Where human lives has suddenly become worthless. How we got here is beyond me. It is sad but we must continue to strengthen our security arms so that they can be able to combat the decadence. Everybody must be on the alert, whenever they see suspicious movement; they should report it to the security agency.

Some members of the public have vehemently kicked against the establishment of state police alleging that it will be used to do the state government biddings. What is your take on this?

 In every venture, there are advantages and disadvantages; my take is that, cutting off the head is not an antidote to headache. There is room for solution that will not require the system to be subjective to the dictates of the state government. If we sit down as a people and set up a body to look critically at the danger inherent in having state police, there be checks and balances method will be fashioned to cut whatever might be the state government excesses. I advocate for it, we gotten to the position that we need to have it.

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