Armsgate: Falana wants suspects tried by ICC - Uju Ayalogu's Blog for News, Reviews, Articles and More

Breaking News

Post Top Ad

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Armsgate: Falana wants suspects tried by ICC

Armsgate: Falana wants suspects tried by ICC

Femi Falana

A human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has advocated that persons accused of diverting funds meant for procurement of arms to fight Boko Haram should be tried by the International Criminal Court.

Falana made the call in a paper he presented during the opening of the Amnesty International’s office in Abuja on Tuesday.

The senior lawyer, who urged the AI to promote economic and social rights, argued that corruption “frustrates socio-economic rights.”

According to him, promotion of socio-economic rights will enhance the principles of universality, indivisibility and interdependence of all human beings.

He noted that scores of people had been killed by Boko Haram due to lack of equipment, adding that people involved in diverting the money meant for arms procurement must be prosecuted for the avoidable deaths.

He said, “By diverting the huge funds for arms procurement, the suspects deliberately caused the death of not less than 25,000 ill-equipped soldiers and unarmed civilians, including children. For committing such grave crimes against humanity, the suspects should be referred to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague for prosecution.”

He recalled that the National Assembly approved $1bn loan for former President Goodluck Jonathan for procurement of arms.

The lawyer said that based on his involvement in the defence of soldiers in military courts, he had confirmed that the loan was obtained, but diverted.

“I wrote to the then Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to demand an inventory of the arms bought with the $1bn loan. In her embarrassing reaction to my request, the minister stated that she was not in a position to account for the loan!

“When I persisted in demanding transparency and accountability, the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, claimed that the armed forces led by him lacked the equipment to fight the insurgents,” he said.

Falana also dismissed the World Bank’s report on the disbursement of the recovered money from the late former Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha.

Faulting Okonjo-Iweala’s claim that only $500m of the Abacha loot was recovered, he said it was misleading for the World Bank to say that the money had been judiciously spent.

He stated, “Apart from the package of lies which lacerated the report on the projects purportedly funded with the loot, the World Bank deliberately set out to cover up the fact that the bulk of the Abacha loot had been re-looted. Contrary to the figure of $500m admitted by the World Bank, I wish to state, without any fear of contradiction, that over $4 billion was recovered by the Federal Government from 1998 to 2014.”

The human rights lawyer said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration should ask the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to account for the $4bn recovered from the Abacha loot.

Falana did not dispute the Transparency International’s ranking of South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya as the leading corrupt countries in Africa. He, however, said the ranking had exposed the hypocrisy of the organisation, which failed to identify western countries which kept stolen funds.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director of the AI, Nigeria, Mohammed Ibrahim, said the group in the last five years had released reports on human rights violations in Nigeria, including extrajudicial killings, forced evictions as well as Boko Haram’s atrocities and the military violations.

Subscribe to Our Posts via Email

Share This

No comments:

Post a Comment

Listen to This Beautiful New Talent - Winter Wolf - Singing "Midnight"

Post Bottom Ad