Oil Thieves Wont Be Prosecuted Until…Justice Minister
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), has said that all those indicted in the fuel subsidy report would not be prosecuted until the result of the findings is made available to the Federal Executive council for deliberation and consideration.
Adoke, while re-affirming Jonathan’s earlier statement on the persecution of those found wanting, stressed on the importance of following the due process approach and rules on those indicted by the House of Representative ADHOC Committee.
The statement reads in part, “The attention of the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been drawn to recent calls by some groups and well-meaning Nigerians for the prosecution of those allegedly indicted in the Report of the House of Representatives AdHoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy Regime.
“It is pertinent to reiterate government’s position as aptly captured by Mr. President’s initial reaction to the report of the fuel subsidy probe to the effect that any person found wanting will be prosecuted, irrespective of the person’s standing in the society.
“Nigerians must, however, appreciate that in discharging this onerous responsibility, government must be guided by the dictates of the rule of law and due process as required of any democratically elected and responsible government.
“In this regard, the need to ensure that thorough investigations are carried out by relevant law enforcement agencies cannot be overemphasised.
“This is more so, as the exercise carried out by the House of Representatives is mainly fact-finding.
While urging Nigerians to have faith in the processes being undertaken and to patiently wait for the outcome of the investigations and subsequent prosecutions that may flow from the fuel subsidy probe, Adoke observed that the ultimatum being given by some groups and the threat to embark on demonstrations and strike actions after two weeks of no action from the government on those indicted will only compound the problem and divert attention, as well as, the energy that would otherwise have been channeled into productive use by law enforcement agencies.
“Experience has shown that whenever our law enforcement agencies are stampeded to arraign suspects, the end result is usually the discharge of such suspects by the courts ostensibly for want of evidence.
“Nigerians must, therefore, allow our law enforcement agencies to conduct painstaking investigations that will ultimately satisfy the standard of proof required in criminal cases,” he said.