Killer squad: How we hit brickwall investigating Obasanjo's allegation against Jonathan, by Rights Commission
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday provided explanation on why its investigation of the allegation by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that President Goodluck Jonathan was training and arming a killer squad for this year's elections has not made ay headway.
The Chairman of the NHRC, Dr. Chidi Odinkalu, blamed the lack of cooperation by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Adoke, SAN, and Obasanjo himself.
Odinkalu said in Abuja that both individuals, who were key to the investigation, refused to avail the commission of necessary information and evidence it required to carry out the investigation.
Obasanjo had, in an 18-page letter to Jonathan in December 2013, accused the president of among others, keeping over 1000 people on his political watch list while also secretly training snipers and other armed personnel as well as acquiring weapons for political purposes.
The president then minuted on the letter to the AGF who in turn forwarded that aspect of the letter to the NHRC for investigation.
The allegation is part of the sustained attack by Obasanjo on President Jonathan, which provided the opposition weapons to attack the incumbent president.
It is difficult to fathom the real motives behind former president on Jonathan whom he helped more than anybody else to rise to be president, but some say he is hurting that Jonathan refused to be his puppet as he had envisaged.
According to Odinkalu, the commission in trying to give all the parties the opportunity to make representations, had written both men twice, but got no response.
He said, “What happened was very straightforward. We need materials and evidence from different people. We have written to the Attorney General of the Federation to give us his evidence. We have written to General Obasanjo to give us his evidence. And we have heard from neither side. Now we have repeated the demand, we have heard from neither side.
“The process is facts-based. It is evidence-led. We are not going to sit down here and manufacture evidence. We wanted to give everybody a chance before proceeding. Again, we wanted to convene a public hearing, but again, it was close to the elections.
“So, we took a deliberate decision that we did not want to make that a factor in the elections. After the elections, we are going to convene that hearing. But if the attitude continues, which is that neither side is willing to give us evidence, we will adjourn it sine die (indefinitely),” he said.
Also speaking on the celebrated case of right abuse made against the Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime, by his wife, Clara, Odinkalu said the commission was guided by the fact that the marriage yielded a child.
Mrs Chime had accused her husband of keeping her incommunicado against her wish on allegation that she was mentally unstable.
“The commission also has the responsibility to fashion remedies to fit the facts. In the case of the wife of the Enugu State Governor, the most important thing for us was that there is a child, who is barely four years old.
“We have a responsibility to that child. And everything we have done has been focused on making sure that that child is protected. Everything we did was done in the best interest of that child,” he said.
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