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Buhari govt gets ultimatum to prosecute Goje as AGF stops N25bn fraud trial

Wale Odunsi

July. 08, 2019

The Federal Government has been given a 14-day ultimatum to prosecute former Governor of Gombe State, Senator Danjuma Goje or face court action and public protest.
A Federal High Court sitting in Jos, last week, threw out the corruption case where Danjuma Goje is accused of fraud in an N25 billion sleaze funds, after the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) asked the court to halt the trial.
Goje was facing corruption charges initiated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) and the AGF intervention is believed to be part of the deal that made the lawmaker drop out from the Senate Presidency race.
In a statement signed on Monday, Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, said: “Many Nigerians have the reason to suspect that transparency is being sacrificed on the altar of politics and horse-trading in the interest of the election of principal officers of the National Assembly.
“There is grave concern that the take over of the trial of Goje who has been accused of fraud involving huge sums of public funds will undermine justice.
“The decision of the AGF to take over the case from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) is raising a lot of concern. There is no justification for this decision. The EFCC is doing a great job through diligent prosecution.
“The sudden decision of the AGF to take over the case is suspicious. It sends wrong signals to local and international communities that vested political interests are bent on sabotaging the efforts of the EFCC and the entire gamut of anti-corruption campaign”.
HEDA said this withdrawal has no justification except to confirm the rife speculations that the case was compromised to meet “political considerations” as in previous cases taken over by the AGF office.
HEDA insisted that the withdrawal “is in bad taste and this group will deploy all the constitutional legal means to defend public interest in this particular case”.
“The international community would be notified of this subversion of rule of law and justice by the present regime.
“Bilateral laws and agreement between Nigeria and other foreign nations will be explored to exposed both the government and the suspect. Constitutional provision on Nolle Prosqui is not perverting justice but protect public interest”.
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