June 6, 2019

How decision to prosecute Tinubu at CCT was taken — Ex-AGF, Adoke

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Former attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke

LAGOS—FORMER Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, SAN, has explained how the Goodluck Jonathan administration took the decision to prosecute National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

Former attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke

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In an interview with Premium Times, Mr. Adoke, who said he was against Tinubu’s prosecution, however, disclosed that a popular human rights lawyer, close to the APC leader, engineered the trial.

He, however, refused to mention the lawyer who engineered Tinubu’s trial at the CCT.

In an attempt to set the records straight, Adoke said: “Let me clarify this issue very well. Bola Tinubu’s trial took place; it was his case with Code of Conduct Tribunal. It was a very unfortunate thing. But what most people don’t know is that a lot of people who claimed to be close to Bola Tinubu, a particular human rights lawyer, was the one that engineered that trial.”

When asked to mention the lawyer’s name, he said: “You will read it in my book.”

He said: “It is there in my book; a particular human rights lawyer was the one going around the political authorities at that time saying “is this how you people are going to allow Tinubu? He has stolen Lagos blind, is this how you are going allow him to take over Nigeria, you people should move against him”. At the end of the day, the Code of Conduct Bureau people, on the instigation of this lawyer and I am happy that Mike Oghiadomhe is alive. I am happy Ita Ekpenyong is alive and I wish that the late Azazi is alive because they would have been able to corroborate this story.

Tinubu’s CCT trial

“How Bola Tinubu’s trial came about was unnecessary. Again, the same lawyer was one of those who went to tell Tinubu that “ohh… It is Adoke that is against you”. That was why at that time Bola Tinubu, I think in 2012 or thereabout, came out to say that “the Attorney General is against me” until he spoke to me through Lai Mohammed who, incidentally, was a great friend of mine before he became a minister and who has 24/7 access to me when I was minister.”

In addition, the former AGF said: “Let me tell you something, what was happening was that, I told you in government there are many mansions, there are many interest groups, and there is so much sense of blackmail. I was fighting on so many fronts.

Some of these anti-corruption agencies will go and say “we are trying to fight corruption, it is the Attorney General that is not allowing us” and you know how they use the issue of corruption as a base. It is so easy. So, when they continue that, I had advised that to me it was unnecessary, but since they didn’t listen, the CCB people came, we said “well, we don’t believe in this prosecution” but they said they have a private lawyer who will prosecute for them under the fiat; we gave them the fiat.

“After giving them the fiat, when the case collapsed in court and they wanted to go and appeal, I stood my ground and overruled them. I didn’t do that because it was Bola Tinubu, I did it because that was the right thing to do.

That was why I refused to go on that appeal. But it would interest you to note that a year or thereabout after the CCT case, one of the members of the tribunal came to us that we should reopen that case that they made a mistake, they can still convict Bola Tinubu. We told him that we don’t use our office for settling scores. I never said this to anybody. I mentioned it to the president that ‘look at what this idiot has come to tell me. The president and I laughed it off.”