Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday advised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on how in corruption cases, declaring that they needed ‘ogbologbo’ (competent) lawyers, among others.
Obasanjo, who spoke while playing host to members of the Correspondents’ Chapel and some media practitioners in Ogun State at his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta, also said there was no truth in the allegation made by Gen. Ishiaya Bamaiyi that his administration wanted to kill him.
The former president said for the EFCC to be result-oriented, it must adopt a three-pronged approach of thorough investigation, diligent prosecution and committed judiciary.
He said, “I was reading today when the President (Muhammadu Buhari) said the EFCC should stop losing cases. They lose cases for a number of reasons. One, they engage more of outside lawyers. I believe that they need staunch, ogbologbo lawyers inside that will do the work.”
He gave the second factor as thorough investigation and third factor as judges who must be committed in fighting corruption, “because if the investigation is very sound and you have ogbologbo lawyer to handle the case, if you have Salamigate, you know what the answer will be.”
Obasanjo also denied the allegations by Bamaiyi in his book. Bamaiyi was detained in October 1999 and charged for the attempted murder of the late publisher of the Guardian newspaper and former Internal Affairs Minister, Alex Ibru. He was, however, discharged and acquitted in April 2008.
But last week during the launch of his book, Vindication of a General, in Abuja, Bamaiyi said the Obasanjo government plotted to kill him in detention.
Obasanjo who played host to members of the Correspondents’ Chapel and some media practitioners in Ogun State at his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta, said in response to a question on the matter, “My government did not plot to kill him. My government asked him to answer to those that were alleged to have been killed by him and that is legitimate. That if there is an allegation that you have done something, that you have committed a crime, then you are arrested, you should answer. And that’s all.”