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No big deal about Adenuga’s arrest –Ribadu

Posted by By FEMI BABAFEMI, Lagos and LUCKY NWANKWERE, Abuja on 2006/07/14 | Views: 419 |

No big deal about Adenuga’s arrest –Ribadu

Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, says that there is nothing strange about the arrest of chairman of Globacom, Otunba Mike Adenuga, who was released on Tuesday.

Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, says that there is nothing strange about the arrest of chairman of Globacom, Otunba Mike Adenuga, who was released on Tuesday.
Speaking in Abuja, Ribadu said that the EFCC can call anybody for questioning and therefore, Adenuga was not an exception.

"Why are you so particular about Mike Adenuga? There are one hundred and one people who are being investigated daily in Nigeria. Go today and see who we have taken. He is not the latest. What is special about him? Is he not a Nigerian?
‘What is special? Does he have four legs? What is it that is special about him? What is it? He is a Nigerian just like all of us. For God’s sake, there are people who have been taken in and detained and nobody is talking about it. Responsible and good Nigerians have for long been taking in and investigated.

"In fact, we have celebrated Nigerians who have been detained before. This president served jail time before he came out to become president. What is it? What is this thing about Mike Adenuga?
"Important people, like Gani Fawehinmi were detained in this country before. Please when we invite an individual for interrogation, it should not be an issue. We have so many cases that we are investigating, involving so many people", he stated.
On why Adenuga was arrested, Ribadu asked Nigerians to be patient, promising that the outcome of EFCC investigation would soon be made public.

"The result of our investigation, normally we make it public. At the appropriate time, we will come out with whatever findings that our investigation will reveal. Give us time and I am sure Nigerians will know everything. We will never do anything in hiding. At the end of the day, Nigerians will know", he further pointed out.

On the seeming controversy over the posture of his agency to expose corrupt politicians, he denied ever positing that the agency would screen candidates for next year’s general elections.
"I never spoke about screening. Screening is not the word. What we are saying is that if anybody wants to seek electoral office, he should be ready for scrutiny. Let all the cupboards be open. If he has a skeleton, we will see. And it is not just in Nigeria. It happens all over the world. It is not different from the laws we used in fighting 419, fraud, fraudulent activities in the oil sector.

"If you are seeking political office and you have skeleton in your cupboard, we will bring it out. It has nothing to do with screening anybody, but we will work to bring people to justice like the way we did with 419, those sabotaging our oil pipelines etc. The moment you say you are now a candidate, you are now making everybody to look at you. It is not just the EFCC", he further stated.

The EFCC boss said the war on corruption should be fought with all the seriousness it deserved and should be the collective responsibility of all law enforcement agencies and indeed all Nigerians, adding "if all of us collectively go to work and do it very well, we will go a long way. This is for our country, for our future".
Meanwhile, efforts by Otunba Adenuga to see President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday failed.

The business mogul, who arrived the Presidential Villa in a black Toyota Jeep, with number Lagos BW 821- LSD, a little after 9 am, was kept waiting till 4.30 pm when it became obvious that the president would not see him. He eventually left at 4.45 pm, through the service chiefs’ gate, in a metallic grey Peugeot 406 car belonging to one of the president’s aides.

In a related development, the EFCC came under more attacks from two chieftains of the Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD), Alhaji Lawal Kaita and Senator Joseph Waku who described the commission as nothing but an agent of blackmail.

The ACD chieftains were reacting to the arrest and detention of Globalcom boss, Dr Mike Adenuga as well as the allegation by Vice President Atiku Abubakar that Adenuga’s encounter with EFCC was an attempt to nail him (Atiku) and former military ruler, General Ibrahim Babangida over their aspiration to contest the 2007 presidential election.

Kaita, a former Kaduna State governor, told Daily Sun that "it is obvious, clear that EFCC has been turned to an agents of state to witchhunt people with genuine political ambition in a bid to either humiliate them and reduce their political standing or force them to drop their ambition."

According to him, "we have seen the commission do this to one, two or three presidential aspirants from the North now, that should tell you their brief and where they are going."

He said that the commission has, of late been going beyond its constitutional powers to investigate, adding, "its investigations can’t stop any aspirant from contesting elections, only the court of law can do that if they find anything against the person."

Also speaking with Daily Sun from his base in London, Senator Waku said that though nobody is above the law, " if an investigation is to be carried out, it must be done in a way that it is not selective."
"If Bode George can be investigated by the owners of the investigators and found guilty, and the guilt was eventually reversed, what kind of justice or EFCC are we talking about? Definitely, EFCC is already involved in the 2007 politics.”

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