BY IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI
ABUJA —The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, yesterday, expressed his readiness to submit himself to the Police to be probed over his alleged complicity in acts of corruption.
In a press statement he issued through his lawyer in Abuja yesterday, Adoke, said he had already written to the Inspector General of Police, urging him to go ahead and investigate the veracity of allegations that were leveled against him by a Non Governmental Organization, the Anti-Corruption Network, led by a former member of the House of Representatives.
He however refuted insinuation in the media that it was President Goodluck Jonathan that directed his probe, saying his traducers should forthwith seek the face of God.
It will be recalled that on April 4, the Anti-Corruption Network sent a strong worded petition to President Jonathan, wherein it accused the Minister of massive corruption, abuse of office and gross incompetence.
The petitioners urged President Jonathan to confirm his willingness to fight corruption in the country by sacking the Justice Minister from office for allegedly “aiding and abetting corruption.”
Besides, the group, on April 11, wrote another petition in which it reminded President Jonathan that he was yet to take any step with regards to the sundry acts of corruption it chronicled against the AGF.
Likewise, it was alleged that the AGF was operating four secret accounts in which he was said to have deposited the sum of $40 million US dollars, 5.3 million Great Britain Pounds and N6.2billion Naira, an allegation the Minister has since denied as false and malicious.
A further response the AGF made through his lawyer Mr Ahmed Raji, SAN, yesterday, reads: “We are issuing this statement on behalf of our client, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, SAN, CFR, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
“Following the tendentious allegations made by one Mr. Dino Melaye against the person of our Client, we wrote a letter dated 23rd April 2013 to the Inspector General of Police, wherein we requested the I.G to cause an investigation to be carried out in respect of all the allegations made by the said Mr. Dino Melaye.
“We therefore dispute the headline in the publication contained in the Sahara Reporters of today 10thMay 2013 to the effect that: PRERSIDENT Jonathan Initiates probe of AGF Mohammed Adoke.
“A copy of our letter to the Inspector of General police is herewith attached. We refer to the last but one paragraph where we stated as follows:
“Accordingly, we have our Client’s instructions to request you to kindly cause an investigation to be carried into all the allegations by promptly inviting the said Otunba Dino Melaye to come and justify all the allegations he has made which we hasten to say are nothing but Criminal libel”.
“The current exercise being embarked upon by the police is therefore at the instance of our Client and not the President as being insinuated.
“We want to place on record that this is not the first time our Client will be submitting himself to a public enquiry because he has nothing to hide. On a past occasion when our Client submitted himself, his accusers came apologizing as they admitted that they were misled into publishing what was and is still patently false against him. While our Client concedes the right of every individual to freedom of speech, it is our contention that the freedom goes with a duty. It is not a licence for anyone to make any unsubstantiated allegation against any individual.
“And this is why our Client has deemed it fit to invite the police authority to look into the allegations and make appropriate findings.
It is therefore very astonishing to read that the President has initiated a probe of our Client.
“Perhaps it may be desirable at this juncture to advise the traducers of our Client to seek the face of God in seeking whatever office they desire to occupy rather than engage in an ungodly act of maligning our Client.”