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May 7, 2010

FG must probe Yar’Adua’s death, handlers – Akintola

By Ise-Oluwa Ige

ABUJA — Ibadan-based member of the inner bar, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), yesterday, asked the Federal Government to probe the circumstances surrounding the death of former President Umaru Yar’Adua.

Akintola who described the death of Yar’Adua as a great loss to the nation also requested the Federal Government to probe all the handlers of the late president including former Justice Minister, Chief Michael Kaase Aondoakaa (SAN) for the roles they played during his ill-health.

He said Nigerians deserved to know the last moments of their president whom they voted for, what drug was administered to him last and the doctor who treated him before he gave up the ghost.

“President Yar’Adua left a good legacy. He led a good life. He left legacy of humility. He was unassuming. He was not flamboyant. He was not arrogant. And he was an epitome of humility, so to say.

“Above all, he scores very high in the areas of rule of law and resolution of Niger Delta crisis. He would be remembered by even generation yet unborn for his pioneering the efforts of the Federal Government in the area of the rule of law.

“He happened to be the first leader to thread that path. But, if I have my way, all those who surrounded him during the hours of his ill-health should be investigated.

“How comes, for instance, that foreign doctors were flown into Nigeria without the knowledge of the Federal Government? Were these foreign doctors licensed to practise in Nigeria?

“The Nigerian medical association has a regulatory body that regulates the practice of medicine in Nigeria just like any other professional body.

“Yar’Adua was not taken to government hospital not even to Aso Villa clinic. We need to know how he died. We need to know his last moments. Because he was still a public property up till the time he died. He was a property of Nigeria.

“Nigeria deserves to know who treated him last, what drug was administered on him.

“You will recall that the Acting President now Mr President never had any information about his health. And we must condemn that type of behaviour to avoid a repeat in the future. This is to ensure that every public figure knows that he or she is a public property.

“If we don’t, many of these public officers will not appreciate the importance of the offices they are holding.

“They are holding such offices in trust for us. And we are supposed to know even what they are doing in their closet.

…calls for probe
“I am, therefore, calling on the Federal Government to institute a probe into the entire gamut of illness, the processes of his hospitalization.

 “There should be an independent report from our medical experts here on all these. We have them in good number.

“The report must be able to provide answers to questions like who authourised the foreign medical practitioners who treated Yar’Adua till he died to come into the country; who gave them licence; who facilitated their movement to Nigeria and did they get work permit before they started work here?

“All these must be brought to the fore. This is because every professional across the world will know that Nigeria is not a dumping ground where you can pick your briefcase and just jump into the country and start practising.

“President Yar’Adua’s death should be probed with the entire gamut of the treatment he received. He could not appreciate his environment at the time he died. Those who made it difficult for the people to have access to their president should be made to account.

“He was not President Umaru Yar’Adua of Katsina State but of Nigeria.

“Every Nigerian has a stake in this issue. Those who surrounded him and made it difficult for Nigerians to have access to him by keeping everything that happened to him in secrecy.

“Everybody that surrounded him including the Aondoakaas of this world, the Rumas of this world, the Abba-Ajis of this world, among others.”