- Category: Law, Crime & Judiciary
- Published on Wednesday, 08 June 2011 11:10
- Written by Admin
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Barely two weeks after the Freedom of Information Act was signed into law by President Goodluck Jonathan, human rights lawyer, Mr Bamidele Aturu Tuesday became the first person to put the Act to test by requesting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to supply the names of member of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) who received bribe recently.
But Aturu, who is a solicitor to CDHR, urged the anti-graft commission to prove the allegation or be faced with a suit.
He urged the commission to obey the Act by disclosing the names of the suspect or suspects that gave N52 million to the leadership of the CDHR and the persons to whom the money was given.
He also wants the commission to disclose the manner in which the money was paid and when, where and how the money was paid, threatening that if it fails to do so within the period stipulated by law he will proceed to court in accordance with the provisions of the law.
Aturu argued that the words against the CDHR and its President, Olasupo Ojo, were meant to portray them as paid agents of corrupt public officials who loot the treasury, making them corrupt, accessories to crimes, deceitful and dishonest.
“Furthermore, the words meant and were understood to mean that our clients have an ulterior and hypocritical agenda to weaken anti-corruption agencies and promote corruption in Nigeria while pretending to be champions of good governance and the rule of law.
Meanwhile, Nigeria Police Tuesday disclosed that the advent of militant activities in the Niger Delta had undermined security of lives and properties within the creeks and waterways around Lagos State, saying the era of sea robbery and piracy would soon be a history on Lagos waters.
The State Commissioner for Police, Mr. Yakubu Alkali disclosed at the launching of six patrol gunboats, which the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim donated to Lagos State Police Command at the Marine Police Headquarters located at Awolowo Road, Ikoyi.
At the inauguration attended by Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) and senior police personnel, the commissioner added that the state police command had witnessed a gradual deterioration in security within the creeks and waterways around the state.
Speaking at the launching, Ringim solicited for special security arrangement for Lagos state, just as he handed-over six gunboats to the Police Command to beef up security around the coastal areas in the state.
“Your deliberate choice of words was therefore intended to portray our client as hypocrites, ignoble, dishonest, unreliable and irresponsible persons. Perhaps, more devastating to the CDHR’s solid reputation as the pre-eminent civil society organization in Nigeria is the imputation in your statement that the organization is a bunch of opportunists who lack commitment to principles and which ought not to be taken seriously by members of the public.
“Our clients are certain that you have no reasonable or probable cause to believe the damaging allegations you made concerning them.
“They have challenged you to provide evidence or proof that they were hired by any person to engage in the activities which they voluntarily assumed in order to build a developed Nigeria devoid of fraud, corruption and abuse of power. You have thus far been unable to provide an iota of proof.” (ThisDay)