CACOL had suspected that Mr. Mohammed Adoke Bello (SAN), was going to abet corruption even before he assumed office as Minister of Justice;based on this we had advised the Goodluck Jonathan led government not to ‘’appoint proven incompetent people’’ as ministers. Adoke as the Attorney General of the Federation AGF; exhibited arrogance of impunity when he moved round the country to withdraw cases that the anti-graft agencies were painstakingly pursuing in the courts in a bare-faced effrontery to create escape routes for corruption criminals whose cases were in the courts. He actually acted like a hatchet-man who was on a mission to kill the anti-corruption drive of the country. His antecedents even earned the notorious nickname, ‘Nolle Adoke’, for his ignoble role in seeking nullifications of several corrupt cases.
Our suspicion came to bolder relief in year 2010 when we stumbled on information that the former Minister coordinated bribery scandals where spurious ‘legal fees’ involving up to about $26 million USDwere paid to prosecution counsels even though the accused were never prosecuted in any court which led CACOL to play its’ role as a patriotic organisation with an objective to combat corruption; by blowing the whistle on Mr Adoke through protest marches backed with petitions to the EFCC and ICPC submitted on 26th July, 2011 at their Head Offices in Abuja.
The re-opening and resumption of activities on the Halliburton and Siemens bribery scandals with the aim of bringing those culpable in the bribery and money laundering scandals to book and putting the case in the limelight again by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) thus deserves commendation as the war against corruption continues.
CACOL is indeed vindicated considering that as a coalition; we blazed the trail in the efforts to bring the former Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Mr.Mohammed Adoke Bello (SAN) to book for his role in the Halliburton and Siemens bribery scandals by our protests and petitions in which CACOL specifically requested EFCC ‘’to as a matter of urgency and national interest investigate that Hon. Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke coordinated a bribery scheme that extorted $26 million USD from about 10 multinational companies involved in the Siemens and Halliburton scandals in the last quarter of 2010’’.
As a Coalition focused on its objectives; with the fight against corruption at the centre of these objectives, we remain consistent on our position on the Siemens and Halliburton scandals and still by our petition to the EFCC on 26 July, 2011.
‘’We are urging the EFCC to continue along this path and to vigorously pursue the case or cases to logical conclusions within the ambit of the law. The EFCC should even look beyond the former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Joseph Daudu (SAN); the immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), Chief Godwin Obla (SAN), Mr. Damian Dodo (SAN), and Mr. Roland Ewubare for their alleged involvement in the $182m Halliburton scandal. Everyone else involved in the Halliburton and Siemens scandal must pay for their crimes, no matter who they are’’, Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. DeboAdeniran said when speaking on the EFCC’s decision to re-open the Halliburton and Siemens scandals, describing it as ‘long overdue’.
‘’We reiterate the need for diligence in investigations, prosecutions and procedure; the situation where culprits of corruption escape justice based on wobbly prosecutions or investigations must be left in the past if the anti-corruption will be effective for our national development.When the culprits of corruption do not get punitive due to them for their crimes to serve as deterrent, then at best, the whole anti-corruption garb; of the present government, the agencies and citizens could described as a big charade.’’ Mr Adeniran added
It is our desire to see the agencies treat all suspected corruption criminals in the same way in order to send appropriate message to innocent Nigerians that corruption is a shameful act. This is in line with CACOL’s perpetual advice through its pay-off line – Name, Nail, Shame and Shun corrupt leaders anywhere, everywhere.
Mr. Wale Salami
Media Coordinator, CACOL