The President was told point-blank: “There is serious doubt cast on your government’s intent to genuinely fight corruption by the actions of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa.”
The CFN remarked that Mr. Aondoakaa suffers terrible conflict of interest, having been a counsel to those that he is now expected to help prosecute, adding that his tendency to protect those who the government is trying to bring to book, while pretending to respect the law, has made the office of the Attorney General of the Federation a laughing stock nationally and internationally.
“The contributions of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), with Mr. Nuhu Ribadu as its Chairman, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, with Justice Emmanuel Ayoola as Chairman, reverberate positively in Nigeria and internationally. Your government cannot afford to be identified as a drag to the selfless efforts of these noble agencies.
“Instead of complementing the efforts of the EFCC and ICPC, Mr. Aondoakaa is busy scanning the constitution in order to find ways to bring these well-respected agencies to their knees.
“Mr. Aondoakaa would have acted with decency if he took his hands off the prosecution of former office holders entirely. Instead of following the path of decency, Mr. Aondoakaa has, since his appointment, significantly devalued the moral authority of your government to fight corruption. He is not only acting under the guise of the rule of law to fight the anti-corruption agencies from within, he has greatly eroded the confidence the nation and international observers have in your administration’s ability to fight corruption. We humbly remind you that as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, you are ultimately responsible for the performance of those appointed into your cabinet.”
The CFN noted that the fight against corruption in public office has lost some steam, primarily because of the unwillingness of Mr. Aondoakaa to act in the public interest to stamp out corruption, and the employment of dirty tricks to frustrate the excellent work of the EFCC, ICPC and other law enforcement agencies.
It continued: “The struggle in Nigeria today is primarily between those who want to continue with the failed corrupt practices of the past and the vast majority who are simply sick and tired of these rampant uncivilized tendencies. We are in no doubt that Mr. Aondoakaa is occupying the wrong office at the wrong time in our nation’s history. There is need to emphasize that our national interest is far more important than the apparent misadventure of Mr. Aondoakaa.
“Consistent with civilized norms, the immediate resignation of Mr. Aondoakaa from the office of the AGF is hereby demanded. Furthermore, regardless of whether or not the Presidency decides to split the office of the Attorney General of the Federation from that of the Minister of Justice, the full cooperation of the next occupant of the office of the AGF with the EFCC, ICPC and other law enforcement agencies in the fight against corruption is hereby equally demanded unconditionally.
If the Justice Minister is not immediately replaced, the group concluded, the pillaging of the gains of the war against corruption in high places in Nigeria would inherently become the sole legacy of the Yar’Adua administration.