Diezani: Many Nigerians’ve lost confidence in judiciary


The Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Mr. Auwal Rafsanjani, has said many Nigerians have lost confidence in the nation’s judicial system.

In a telephone conversation with The PUNCH on Wednesday, Rafsanjani called for the lawful prosecution and sanction of political officeholders who committed crimes in the country in order for the judiciary to regain the confidence of the citizens.

His comments came on the heels of the claim by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that it had obtained an arrest warrant for the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Alison-Madueke, was on Monday granted a £70,000 bail in an alleged £100,000 bribery trial in a Westminster Magistrates Court in the United Kingdom.


The nation’s anti-graft agency also noted that it would extradite the former minister who had a pending 13-count charge bordering on money laundering.

She was alleged to have stolen $2.5bn from the Nigerian government while she was a minister of petroleum resources from 2010 to 2015 during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Rafsanjani commended the efforts of the EFCC but also noted that the effectiveness of the anti-graft agency is marred by “interferences from the executive,” noting that such interferences “make the work of the agency difficult.”

He said, “It’s good that this issue is coming to an end but I implore the EFCC to continue with this case and also establish that there was actually an offence committed.

“The only concern is that because of the political sector in Nigeria, political office holders who are declared wanted, travel out of the country, thereby escaping justice.”

He noted that many Nigerians don’t believe the crime committed by Diezani will be given the necessary trial which will serve as a deterrent to others.

Rafsanjani, who is also the Head, Transparency International (Nigeria), stated that there had been cases in the past in which the EFCC, after utilising available resources, had investigated and prosecuted corrupt people, and “only for the government to give them pardon.”

“So this is why the Diezani case is not exciting to many people,” he lamented.

He attributed political interference to the discontinued prosecution of some high-profile corrupt government officials in the country.

“Any attempt to undermine the prosecution will continue to create doubt in the minds of Nigerians about the sincerity of the efforts to execute cases involving corruption and corruption activities,” he declared.

The CISLAC executive director said the government does not have the political will to follow up on corruption cases, which is why some people who have been “accused or investigated” on corruption charges were given political appointments by the government.

Rafsanjani urged the government to show sincerity in handling corruption cases and rebuild the “confidence of Nigerians in the country’s judicial system.”

Speaking further, he noted that in an ideal situation, the government isn’t supposed to give a political appointment to an individual under corruption investigation.

He, however, added that if such a person is in government while charged with corruption, he ought to step aside pending his proof of innocence upon investigation.

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