by Lekan Olanrewaju
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Justice Mohammed Adoke has urged Nigerians to exercise patience regarding the ongoing fuel subsidy probe. Details of the House of Representatives probe carried about by the Honourable Farouk Lawan led committee were last month made public in a report which indicted several firms, marketers, as well as the Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Madueke. This has since resulted in calls from the public for the prosecution of those indicted in the report, but the Attorney General has stated that that cannot happen as the probe, for now, is simply a fact finding process.
“Government must be guided by the dictates of the rule of law and due process, as required of any democratically elected and responsible government.” he said. “In this regard, the need to ensure that thorough investigations are carried out by relevant law enforcement agencies cannot be overemphasised.”
“Nevertheless, when the report and accompanying resolutions are received, the relevant law enforcement and anti-corruption agencies will commence the tedious process of sifting through the report, with a view to assembling all the essential ingredients required to sustain criminal charges that may be filed as a result of such investigations.”
He also went on to suggest that, from past experiences, the result of a prosecution might be the release of the accused parties, due to lack of evidence.
“Experience has shown that whenever our law enforcement agencies are stampeded to arraign suspects, the end result is usually the discharge of such suspects by the courts ostensibly for want of evidence.” he said.
“Nigerians must therefore allow our law enforcement agencies to conduct painstaking investigations that will ultimately satisfy the standard of proof required in criminal cases.”