FG Reassures Nigerians On Anti-Corruption Despite Court Losses

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed

The federal government has reassured Nigerians that there was no going back on its current anti-corruption campaign despite the few losses recorded so far in some cases that had been charged to court.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, gave the reassurance in a statement on Tuesday, in which he appealed to the general public not to waver in their trust in the Muhammadu Buhar-led administration to deal corruption a fatal blow in the country.

The minister said that all the judgments so far delivered on corruption cases in the country are being rigorously reviewed to determine whether there were mistakes on the part of government or there were foul play somewhere.

Mohammed assured that the seeming negative court decisions would not slow down the anti-corruption campaign, adding that all of the cases had been appealed.

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The minister insisted that though the war appears “to be long, tough and arduous, this administration is equipped, physically, mentally and intellectually, for the long haul.”

“We must win this war because the law is on our side, the people are on our side and God is on our side.

“This is only the beginning, so any setback will not deter or discourage us,” he promised.

About four high profile corruption cases involving very prominent Nigerians were recently decided against the federal government, with the Judges in most cases advising the prosecution to do diligent investigations before proceeding to court.

One of the cases was the suit against Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the federal high court, Abuja, who allegedly  accepted gratifications in order to pervert Justice. He was discharged and acquitted.

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Also worthy of mention is the cases against former first lady, Patience Jonathan, former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Orubebe, and senior lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, which were all decided at the lower courts against the federal government.

In a related development, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, was at the State House on Tuesday, to meet with President Buhari, after which he told journalists that the anti-corruption campaign is going on well.

Speaking with journalists after the meeting with the President, Onnoghen said: “The fight against corruption has lost no steam. It is not correct.

“Now, you should know one thing: two people will always have a quarrel. They may be three or four or one hundred.

“All the parties to that quarrel will always have different stories to tell. By the way our system is fashioned and designed and operated, when you go to a court of law, you cannot have a drawn game.

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“There must be a winner and there must be a loser. In our system, a loser has the chance of appealing to the highest court eventually.

“So, you cannot say because the government or any agency has lost a case in the high court, you have lost a case and the fight is losing steam.”

Onnoghen however noted that the anti-corruption campaign was not part of his discussion with the president.

“It didn’t come up for discussion but you already know my stand on that and he does also.

“Personally, I am committed to that fight and it remains so. I remain resolute in that commitment”, he said.