By Dapo Akinrefon
CONSTITUTIONAL lawyer, Professor Itse Sagay, SAN, has lampooned critics calling for the resignation of Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, from Buhari’s administration, saying the call is borne out of malice.
The legal icon, however, said he spoke in his personal capacity and not as Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption.
It will be recalled that Justices Ngwuta and Okoro of the Supreme Court accused Mr Amaechi of attempting to induce them to subvert the course of justice in some electoral matters.
Addressing a press conference, yesterday, Sagay said the embattled justices were out on a smear campaign against Amaechi and the Buhari government.
He called on the justices not to indulge in such diversionary activities in the “midst of grave and ominous charges facing them.”
His words: “Two Justices of the Supreme Court affected by the DSS raids of October 8, 2016, have been quoted as stating that Minister of Transportation, Mr. Amaechi, once attempted to induce them to favour the APC in an election petition. This outburst by the two Justices is surprising, considering that it is totally unrelated to the raids of their premises, their arrest and subsequent charges before our courts. Men of that status should not indulge in such diversionary activities in the midst of grave and ominous charges facing them. I would have thought that they would use the time at their disposal to prepare their defences against the serious charges they are facing.
“In any case, given their statuses as Supreme Court Justices, even in the middle of the adversity confronting them, they should not have engaged in a distraction totally incompatible with the dignity and respect that their high offices attract.
“It is demeaning for them to abandon their legitimate defence in order to smear a high official of the Buhari government, whom they probably considered to be the source of their predicaments. “Mere allegations cannot have enough weight to affect the position of such a high official as Amaechi, otherwise knowing the disposition of Nigerians for putting people down, no office holder will be safe in this country. It is, therefore, improper and ridiculous to compare the position of the Justices in whose houses millions of naira and hundreds of thousands of dollars were recovered, to that of Amaechi against whom there is only the mere (ipse dixit) words of mouth of the judges.”
The Professor of Law, who fingered some politicians from Rivers and Akwa-Ibom States for promoting and funding judicial corruption said: “This sudden anti-Amaechi narrative is consistent with the objectives and interests of the chief promoters and funders of judicial corruption during election petitions.”
He said: “These powerful opposition politicians are well known. To be more specific, they are from Rivers and Akwa-Ibom States. They are the ones, who financed judicial corruptions and brought that great institution, the judiciary, to its knees, after the 2015 elections.
“These allegations are intended to undermine and weaken the Buhari Federal Government, by depriving it of the service, input, ideas and productivity of some of its brightest stars. This is intended to set the stage for charging the government with ineffectiveness and cluelessness. In other words, it is an attempt to reduce the image and perception of this Federal Government to the low level of their own late and unlamented government.
Therefore, the call for Amaechi to step down is malicious and vindictive. It should be ignored with complete ignominy.”