A former Kaduna State military administrator, Col. Abubakar Umar Dangiwa (rtd.), has hailed the suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. David Babachir Lawal, and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr. Ayodele Oke, while they are being investigated by a presidential probe panel.
He, however, condemned the continued detention of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), who has been granted bail by three courts, including the ECOWAS Court, and called for his immediate release.
Lawal and Oke were sent home by President Muhammadu Buhari over their respective involvement in the alleged mismanagement of funds meant for humanitarian assistance in the North-east and the discovery of N13.3 billion in an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos, penultimate week.
A probe panel headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was set up and given two weeks to investigate both cases.
Umar, in a statement on Sunday, said it was a welcome development in the federal government’s war against corruption.
He added that it was “remarkable” and “commendable” that the government has decided not to detain the duo while they are being investigated.
“This is a welcome departure from the prevailing anti-democratic process by which accused persons, particularly from the opposition camp, are unlawfully detained pending the commencement of investigations, or refused bail granted by law courts.
“There is national unanimity in support of the war against corruption which is expected to be non-discriminatory and waged by a meticulous adherence to the rule of law.
“For the war to be meaningful and sustainable, it must be elevated beyond President Buhari’s personal struggle to a national one.
“Most fair-minded Nigerians are no more impressed and are indeed sceptical with the conduct of this government’s anti-corruption war which appears to be aimed at the neutralisation and destruction of the opposition,” he said.
Umar noted that it’s been over one year since three law courts granted bail to Dasuki.
“The federal government has however refused to release him citing the untenable excuse of the grievous nature of his offence.
“Our extant constitution is quite clear on this issue. The federal government does not have the power to determine which offence is bailable or whether an accused person is deserving of bail.
“It should therefore obey courts’ decisions and release Col. Dasuki without any further delay. His unlawful detention, campaign of calumny and pre-trial publicity make it impossible for him to receive a fair trial.
“The only explanation one can find for Col. Dasuki’s lengthy detention without trial is that he belongs to the wrong camp. He has also the misfortune of having served as National Security Adviser to the much-vilified Nigerian president of Ijaw extraction.
“Colonel Dasuki’s fate is tied to that of his former principal President Goodluck Jonathan, an honourable and patriotic Nigerian who conceded defeat and congratulated the winner of the 2015 presidential election, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, even before INEC declared the final results, when he could have held on tenaciously to power as is the norm in many third world countries.
“This rare act of statesmanship which pulled the country back from the precipice has been rewarded with utmost disrespect and derision by the APC federal government,” Umar said.
He was of the view that Jonathan was the most maligned Nigerian former head of state, adding: “Col. Dasuki is paying dearly for his loyal service to this patriot.
“All well-meaning Nigerians must speak out against his unfair and unlawful treatment. We cannot afford to remain neutral in the face of this monumental injustice.
“When one Nigerian is unlawfully detained, all of us must have the moral consciousness to feel psychologically incarcerated.”