Attorney General's Take Over Of Taraba Kidnapping Kingpin Is Ominous:- Says Huriwa:
Foremost Civil Rights Advocacy group-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked the Inspector General of Police Force Mohammed Adamu to ensure that the take over of the prosecution of the notorious kidnapping gangster whose arrest led to the violent killings of three well trained police investigators in Taraba State, Alhaji Hamisu Bala (Wadume) by the controversial Federal Attorney General and minister of justice Alhaji Abubakar Malami does not end up like some other high profile cases that was similarly hijacked by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and some of them watered down and withdrawn.
HURIWA recalled that on Wednesday, Shuaibu Labaran, a lawyer from the Ministry of Justice told the Federal High court, Abuja division which was handling the matter that the minister of justice and the Federal Attorney General Abubakar Malami is now prosecuting the matter.
HURIWA stated that going by the philosophical fact that the first impression in everything is critical, it follows that the FIRST STEP OF THE FEDERAL ATTORNEY GENERAL in this take over of the case is suspicious given that it is inexplicable that the Chief law officer feigned ignorance of the details of the matter his office has now taken over when his office asked for adjournment of this sensitive matter that has taken ages to be taken to the Federal High Court of Nigeria to enable his office to study the papers before re-arraigning the defendants.
The Rights group said this is a delay tactics which is a grave threat to justice and fairness because the families of the three police detectives killed by soldiers on the alleged orders of Captain Ahmed Tijani Balarabe have not found the SWIFT JUSTICE THAT THEY DESERVE CONSTITUTIONALLY BY SEEING THAT THE SUSPECTS ARE SWIFTLY PROSECUTED AND PUNISHED SEVERELY FOR THIS HEINOUS CRIME.
HURIWA which criticised the take over of this matter by the Federal Attorney General and minister of justice who began badly by praying the court for a short adjournment, is absolutely suspicious because there are insinuations that the case may suffer the fate that other politically sensitive corruption cases went through in the hands of the Federal Attorney General to such a ridiculous extent that some of them were eventually withdrawn from the Court of law in what is considered political negotiated settlements in which the Chief law officer relied on the constitutional power of withdrawal to discontinue these cases to the consternation of patriotic Nigerians.
"HURIWA is absolutely against this delay tactics and the fact that the Nigerian government has yet to arrest all the suspects and the accusation that the major culprit has been sent on military course does not seat well in the conscience of the nation and is offensive to the core soul of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
"Why the take over by the AGF of this matter? Why did the AGF not take over the case of the Billionaire kidnapper arrested in Lagos who is being prosecuted by the Police? Why did the Minister of justice not take over the prosecution of Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike alias Evans who is being prosecuted by the NPF? What is the interest of the Nigerian government or is it because the kidnapping chief suspect is known to have built a big mosque in his part of Taraba and since some elements in the Federal Government are seen as Islamists therefore they are packaging a soft landing for the once beloved patron of their religious sect in Taraba state which is about 95% a Christian State?"
HURIWA warned that the Nigerian Police Force must know that generations yet unborn will not forgive the treachery and betrayal should this matter be swept under the carpets like some other matters taken over midway by the Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice just as HURIWA asked the Federal Attorney General to explain why he is stepping in to prosecute this matter.
HURIWA stated that: "Now the case is almost half way and suddenly the Attorney General of the federation from nowhere showed up to take over the matter and stated that he has received the file and noticed that there are about 20 defendants from the charge. The AGF is now playing hide-and-seek which purely is to delay the matter by affirming that there is need for him to review the charge and also liaise with the arresting agency to ensure that all the defendants are brought to court."
HURIWA said: "Although the AGF represented by an official assured that the ministry would see that justice is done, We as well as right thinking Nigerians remembering what other cases taken over by the Justice minister had suffered are not comfortable with this politically arranged take over. Although Justice Binta Nyako adjourned the matter until June 8 for re-araignment, We are by this statement demanding that the POLICE FORCE OF NIGERIA SHOULD SET UP A LEGAL TEAM HEADED BY AT LEAST A SENIOR ADVOCATE OF NIGERIA TO TEAM UP WITH THE OFFICE OF THE FEDERAL ATTORNEY GENERAL TO PROSECUTE THIS MATTER TO AVOID POLITICAL Compromised."
HURIWA recalled that the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had filed a 16-count charge on terrorism, murder, kidnapping and illegal arms running against Wadume and the others.They were first arraigned on March 16.Count one of the charge read, “That you, Alhaji Hamisu Bala, 33, aka Wadume; Capt. Ahmed Tijjani Balarabe; ASP Aondona Iorbee; Insp. Aliyu Dadje; Auwalu Bala; Uba Bala; Ahmad Suleiman; Bashir Waziri; Zubairu Abdullahi; Rayyanu Abdul and others now at large, between February and April 2019 at Takum and Ibi, Taraba, within the jurisdiction of this court, while acting in concert, conspired together to commit felony, to wit: acts of terrorism, by attacking and kidnapping one Usman Garba, aka Mayo, at his filling station in Takum, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 17 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Amendment Act 2013.All suspects were also accused of possessing six AK-47 rifles and dealing in prohibited firearms."
HURIWA stated that Like most Nigerians, we recall some of the high profile Controversial Cases Taken Over By Nigeria’s Attorney General, Malami and these cases either were muddied up and thrown away or the Justice minister wrongly exercised the constitutional power of nolle proseque as provided for in section 174(c) of the Nigerian constitution.
HURIWA recalled that the recent of such high profile matters taken over by the AGF are the money laundering trial of Akinola Ogunlewe being handled by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
"Another case taken over by Malami was the N25bn fraud trial of Danjuma Goje, former governor of Gombe State. The case was stalled when in an emergency hearing before Justice Babatunde Quadiri EFCC counsel, Mr Wahab Shittu, told the court that the agency was withdrawing from the case and handing it over to the office of the Attorney-General for continuation.
The AGF however, stated that having thoroughly reviewed the matter found no prima facie case while adding that it was weak, withdrew the charges against Goje from the court in exercise of his constitutional power."
"Another of such corruption and controversial case taken over by the office of the AGF as we vividly recalled and even reported by the media was the alleged debt of MTN's N242bn and $1.3bn for its business malpractices in the country.HURIWA recalled that MTN announced that it received through its counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), a letter from the AGF formally withdrawing his demand for N242,244,452,215.97 and USD$1,283,610,357.86 alleged revenue indebtedness.According to MTN, while the AGF had dropped his demand, he, however, referred the matter to the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigeria Custom Service to resolve the controversy."
HURIWA recalled that the MTN matter has since died an unnatural death. In 2017, Malami reportedly withdrew a corruption case involving three former officials -- Nasiru Ingawa (former Special Adviser on Sure-P to former Governor Ibrahim Shema), Abdulazeez Shinkafi (former director of finance and Account at the Katsina State Sure-P department) and Bello Bindawa (former Chief Store Officer in the Katsina State civil service)".