HomeNewsJonathan drags Obasanjo to rights commission over criminal allegations
Jonathan drags Obasanjo to rights commission over criminal allegations
President Jonathan Goodluck yesterday submitted himself to the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, for probe over criminal allegations against him by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Former President Obasanjo had written an 18-page open letter to Jonathan, accusing him of incompetence, engaging in anti-party activities, ethnicism and training about 1,000 snipers ahead of the 2015 polls.
Jonathan, who denied the allegations in his response, is specifically inviting the rights commission to unravel the truth in the allegation that his government had begun training over 1,000 snipers to terminate his political opponents.
In a letter to the commission, President Jonathan is seeking for a thorough investigation of the allegations against him, touching on alleged human rights abuses.
The letter, signed by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, SAN, on the directive of Jonathan, had already been submitted to NHRC.
The letter dated December 23, 2013 was submitted yesterday. Sources close to the Presidency told National Mirror that similar letters had been written to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The two anti-graft agencies are to probe allegations of economic crimes and official corruption against the Jonathan’s administration as contained in Obasanjo’s letter.
Although, National Mirror could not get copies of the letters, a copy of Jonathan’s letter to NHRC confirmed yesterday that both the ICPC and the EFCC had also been directed to handle allegations touching on economic crimes.
In the memo signed by Adoke (SAN) and addressed to the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Prof. Bem Angwe, the AGF requested the commission to investigate the allegations on the human rights violations contained on pages 9-10 of the letter dated December 2 written by former President Obasanjo to President Jonathan.
The memo with number HAGF/NHRC2013/Vol2/5 reads in part: “Re: Before it is too late: “May I draw your attention to the above and the attached State House memorandum dated December 23, 2013 in respect of the above subject matter.
“I am to request you to investigate the allegations bothering on the human rights violations contained on pages 9-10 of the latter dated 2nd December 2013, written by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, to President Goodluck Jonathan, attached to the memorandum under reference.
“In order to properly delineate the issues within your sphere of competence particularly as other issues raised in the letter are being investigated by appropriate agencies of government, I have decided to reproduce the relevant paragraphs below.
According to Adoke the paragraphs to be investigated by the commission are: “Allegations of keeping over 1,000 people on political watch list rather than criminal or security watch list and training snippets and other armed personnel secretly and clandestinely acquiring weapons to match for purposes like Abacha and training them where Abacha trained his own killers, if it is true, it cannot augur well for the initiator, the government and people of Nigeria. “Here again, there is lesson of his to learn from anybody who cares to learn from history.
Mr. President would always remember that he was elected to maintain security for all Nigerians for personal or political ambition or interest of anyone.
“The Yoruba race adage says ‘the man with whose head coconut is broken may not live to savour the taste of the succulent fruit’. Those who advise you to go hard on those who oppose you are your worst enemies.
“Democratic politics admits and is permissible of supporters and opponents. When the consequences come, those who have wrongly advised you will not be there to help carry the can. Egypt must teach some lessons. “Presidential assistance for a murderer to evade justice and presidential delegation to welcome him home can only be in bad taste generally but particularly to the family of the victim.
“Assisting criminals to evade justice cannot be part of the job of the presidency. Or, as it is viewed in some quarters, is he being recruited to do for you what he had done for Abacha in the past? Hopefully, he should have learnt his lesson.
Let us continue to watch,” the memo added. The Presidency had attached two exhibits to the letter including the original letter written by Obasanjo and the reply by President Jonathan.
Both letters were replete with accusations and counter- accusations, some of which were criminal. National Mirror gathered yesterday that the NHRC would invite the two dramatis personae in the crisis: former President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Jonathan to expatiate on the allegations contained in the two letters.
A source at the commission, who did not want his name mentioned, also said that those connected in the allegations would be invited to assist the rights commission by providing particulars to the allegations. The particulars, National Mirror learnt, would guide the commission to arrive at a just conclusion on the sensitive issue. Although the commission had acknowledged the letter, no formal step has so far been taken on it.