A rights group, the Useful resource Centre for Human Rights and Civil Training (CHRICED), has condemned the makes an attempt by some people and curiosity teams to make use of establishments of the Nigerian state for the sinister function of intimidating, harassing and silencing real anti-corruption crusaders demanding accountability within the OPL 245 saga, popularly known as the Malabu scandal.
The Malabu scandal concerned the switch of about $1.1 billion by Shell and ENI via the Nigerian authorities to accounts managed by a former Nigerian Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete.
From accounts managed by Etete, about half the cash ($520 million) went to accounts of corporations managed by Aliyu Abubakar, popularly identified in Nigeria because the proprietor of AA oil.
Anti-corruption investigators and activists suspect he fronted for high officers of the Goodluck Jonathan administration as properly of officers of Shell and ENI.
The transaction was authorised in 2011 by ex-president Jonathan via a few of his cupboard ministers and the cash was cost for OPL 245, one among Nigeria’s richest oil blocks.
The oil sources of the OPL 245 license have remained undeveloped because the controversies started.
In a press release obtained by SaharaReporters, CHRICED stated anti-corruption campaigners, who’re insisting on justice and restitution for sundry acts of looting and plundering of the nation’s scarce sources are being unduly pressured in a bid to silence them.
Based on Ibrahim Zikirullahi, the group’s chief, these indicted who must be answering for his or her actions are being pampered and guarded utilizing the establishments of the state.
The assertion learn, “This disturbing actuality is clear within the curious position at present being performed by the Nigeria Police and the Workplace of the Lawyer-Normal of the Federation, which seem to have lent the burden of their establishments to determined efforts by some indicted individuals to smear and undermine frontline anti-corruption activist, Mr. Olarenwaju Suraj.
“One turns into anxious by the vivid account offered within the Sahara Reporters story of October 10, 2021 on the state conspiracy on the Malabu saga, together with the haste with which the case file on the alleged cyber-stalking case in opposition to the activist was put collectively. CHRICED can also be shocked and far dismayed about hounding and harassment of Suraj, who has made indelible contributions so far as the battle in opposition to corruption and its damaging results on the Nigerian polity, are involved. CHRICED attests to the truth that Mr. Suraj is a brave and patriotic citizen who put the curiosity of the nation above his private consolation and comfort, by main the Nigerian leg of the marketing campaign to carry to account, officers who ripped the nation off via the Malabu OPL 245 oil block deal.
“These after Mr. Suraj are the direct beneficiaries of this grand scale larceny in opposition to the Nigerian folks through which $1.1billion disappeared into the non-public pockets and financial institution accounts of public officers. These monies would have gone into the treasury to fund fundamental providers in well being, training, infrastructure and different growth objectives. These corrupt components, who sacrificed the curiosity of the nation on the altar of their greed seem to have succeeded in influencing the Nigeria Police Drive to advocate Mr. Suraj for prosecution by the Workplace of the Lawyer-Normal of the Federation for alleged cyber stalking.
“It’s pathetic that the report despatched by the Police to the Lawyer-Normal, recommending the anti-corruption activist for prosecution mainly rehashes allegations by a former Lawyer-Normal Mohamemd Bello Adoke that an electronic mail was solid to incriminate him throughout trials in Italy and London over the Malabu scandal. It’s shameful and embarrassing that Nigerian legislation enforcement authorities are on the verge of prosecuting a citizen over an electronic mail, which the identical Nigerian authorities tendered as proof in courts, each in Milan and London, in the middle of the trial over the can of worms that was the Malabu deal.
“CHRICED invitations well-meaning residents to ask the Police the next questions: if the e-mail in query was the very one tendered in proof by the Federal Authorities’s authorized staff, what’s the justification for the Police hounding a citizen by alleging he solid the identical electronic mail adduced as proof by the federal government? Is the Nigerian Police Drive, in essence, asserting that the Nigerian Authorized Staff offered solid documentary proof earlier than the courts within the aforementioned jurisdictions?
“Above all, the identical Adoke whose petition is getting used as a foundation to hound Mr. Suraj is at present being prosecuted by the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC) on a number of prices bordering on cash laundering. It’s subsequently unusual that whereas the EFCC is within the means of holding Adoke and his cohort to account, the police seem bent on giving the impression that Adoke is harmless even earlier than the method of trial is full.
“Nonetheless, essentially the most tragic facet of the persecution of Mr. Suraj is that it’s occurring on the watch of a authorities, which made guarantees to the Nigerian those who it might battle and vanquish corruption. It’s now clear that these guarantees had been, not solely empty; they had been made to hoodwink the voters on the time. It’s galling that the identical corruption, which the regime promised to battle is now working from its internal sanctum. When compromised components inside establishments of the state just like the Police and the Justice Ministry grow to be keen instruments within the arms of corrupt and unpatriotic components, one is left to marvel what’s going to grow to be the way forward for the nation. There can subsequently be no mistaking the truth that the actions of those components quantity to a violation of the 1999 constitutional provision in Part 15(5), which makes it clear that the “the state shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of energy.”
“However these grotesque and unacceptable realities, CHRICED stands with Comrade Olarenwaju Suraj, as we strongly imagine he’s harmless, simply as we all know he shall be vindicated. He’s solely being hounded and coerced as a result of he has demanded accountability, which is the best of each citizen in a democratic system. CHRICED calls on patriotic and well-meaning civil society organizations to talk up, and use each authorized means essential to insist on the safety of the rights of Comrade Suraj.”
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