Activist lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has described the alleged money laundering charge against former Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, as a case of impunity.
He stated this at the 26th Anti-Corruption Situation Room, ACSR, organised by the HEDA Resource Centre in partnership with the Technical Unit on Governance and Anticorruption Reforms (TUGAR), Centre for Journalism Development, CJID, National Orientation Agency, NOA and AFRICMIL.
Recall that the former DCP was arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, over an alleged link with the ‘Gucci king’, popular alleged fraudster Ramon Abbas, alias “Hushpuppi,” and also a drug ring operating the Brazil – Ethiopia – Nigeria route.
Against the backdrop, Falana stated that he has nothing but pity for Kyari, blaming him for getting himself messed up by the Nigerian system.
He said, “While the request of the United States government was yet to be filed in court, the gentleman (Kyari) who operates in an atmosphere of impunity got himself enmeshed in drug trafficking enterprise. No country or government would want to frustrate the extradition of a criminal suspect by asking him to get engaged in drug trafficking and embarrass the country, no!
“We must not buy conspiracy theories that are not logical. The government did not ask him to get involved in drug trafficking. Arrest has been made, the materials have been recovered it was at the stage of taking the suspect and the materials to the NDLEA that the members of the IRT involved in the operation contacted him and said, hey, this is business, that’s all.
“It has nothing to do with either the Police or the government this is just a question of somebody who believes that he is above the law and nothing will happen to him.
“It is an attitude of impunity that has happened in this case. And I must confess that I have nothing but pity for him, for allowing himself to be messed up by the Nigerian system.
“All allegations including extrajudicial killings were brushed aside by Police authorities before now, he has never been quarried. He was made to believe that nothing will happen to him that was what led him to get himself involved in drug trafficking.”
Falana further stated that it is not the business of Americans to fight corruption for Nigerians, adding that for anyone to succeed in the fight against corruption, he or she must be involved in politics.
He further berated the Ministry of Justice for not rising to the occasion of handling corrupt cases with accountability and responsibility.
“The language of the law is biased, it favours the rich. The law is not neutral. It is not the business of Americans to fight corruption for us, it is our business and responsibility. If you want to fight corruption you must be involved in the politics of our country.”
“We must never allow lawyers and our courts make mockery of the fight against corruption. The Ministry of Justice is yet to handle a case of corruption but rather throws in the dust bin allegations of corruption,” falana added.
Also commenting, Chairman, HEDA Resource Centre, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju, lamented the break free of high profile individuals who have been clenched in the quagmire of corruption.
He said, “Nigeria’s anti-corruption fight has been that of a flip-flop, where you have some of the anti-corruption agencies making some efforts and the supervisory office or ministry undermining or even comprising some of the cases.
“People are still getting caught in the web of corruption and few of them are paying the price for their atrocities. You will see where efforts are made but at the same time they are been undermined by people that were expected to perform the act. Going forward it has to be a collaborative effort for us to fight corruption, the President, Vice President and political parties must come together.”