A Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) has refuted media reports suggesting that he gave former president Goodluck Jonathan a clean bill of health as fighting corruption in a more civilized manner.
In an interview he granted Channels TV, Falana had noted that Jonathan’s administration recovered $970 million from the late head of state Sani Abacha and sacked three of his ministers.
This remark by the learned silk was culled from the interview and reported that he allegedly said Jonathan fought corruption in a more civilised manner than President Muhammadu Buhari.
But in a statement in rebuttal, Falana described the report as a “desperate move to discredit the anti-corruption programme of the Muhammadu Buhari admistration”.
He said the report was the handiwork of “some misguided fellows” who have attempted to link him “with the forces of corruption that are fighting back in the country.
“I never made such a stupid statement. Hence, the ‘suggestion’ ascribed to me is grossly misleading and downright dishonest,” Falana stated even as he challenged the reactionary forces that have twisted and manipulated his views to reproduce any statement made by him suggesting that ex-president Jonathan fought corruption in a civilised manner.
He said, to expose the mala fide of the satanic forces that are desperate to sustain corruption and impunity in the country, Nigerian readers “may wish to check my full interview in www.channels.tv and Sunday Punch of August 23, 2015”.
On what he actually said, Falana insisted, “In accusing the influential members of the National Peace Committee of gargantuan hypocrisy, I did say that their chairman, General Abbdulsami Abubakar even probed the dead and recovered properties and over $1 billion from the Abacha loot which are contained in the Forfeiture Decree No 45 of 1999.
“With respect to President Jonathan, I never said that those actions were taken quietly as they were announced and celebrated in the media by the Jonathan administration”.
The statement continued: “Consequently, I questioned the motive of the members of the National Peace Committee in calling for ‘soft landing’ for corrupt people. Convinced that the call was a demonstration of class solidarity, I urged the Buhari administration not to be deterred in prosecuting the anti-corruption war.
“In fact, I did not hesitate in supporting President Buhari’s anti-corruption policy by citing Section 15 of the Constitution which has imposed a duty on the Nigerian State to abolish corrupt practices and abuse of power.”