Falana warns against special treatment for Ita, Oke
A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has warned against giving special treatment to former Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Ekpeyong Ita and ex-Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ayo Oke.
He gave the warning yesterday in a paper presented at a National Seminar on Recovery of Noxious Funds organised in Lagos by the University of Kent.
According to him: “If the two former security chiefs are allowed to be treated like sacred cows by the Federal Government, other criminal suspects would resist arrest, investigation and prosecution under the principle of equality of citizens before the law.
“I can imagine that some lawyers would seek to enforce the fundamental rights of many suspects to freedom from discrimination guaranteed by section 42 of the Constitution.”
Falana commended the setting up of a committee by President Muhammadu Buhari to carry out a holistic audit of recovered assets by agencies of the Federal Government.
He said: The audit committee is pursuant to the landmark judgment by Justice Mohammed Idris, following a freedom of information suit brought by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).”
“In that case, Justice Idris granted among other reliefs, an order of mandamus directing and or compelling the Federal
Government to provide SERAP with up to date information on recovered stolen funds since the return of civilian rule in 1999.”
The relief included detailed information on the total amount of recovered stolen public assets that had so far been recovered by the country.
Falana urged the civil society organisations to support the work of the committee by providing it with useful information to effectively carry out its work.
He, however, condemned some officials of the Federal Government and some foreign governments for “frustrating the fight against corruption being prosecuted by the Buhari administration.
He said: “Some foreign governments which had benefited from the proceeds of corruption are reluctant to recover and repatriate the looted wealth.
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