Arms Scandal: Ex-Minister Blasts Itse Sagay, Says Statement Vilifying Jonathan “Unfortunate”
The immediate past Minister of National Planning, Dr. Abubakar Sulaiman, on Saturday tackled renowned civil rights activist and legal luminary, Professor Itse Sagay, over a recent comment he made about former President Goodluck Jonathan in relation to the $2.1 billion arms deal scandal.
Sagay, who is Chairman of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Committee set up by President Muhammadu Buhari, had in a recent interview called on Mr. Jonathan to confess all he knows about the arms deal scandal to Mr. Buhari, so that a soft-landing may be arranged for him in view of his position as a former president.
But the former Minister, a self-appointed spokesman of the immediate past Jonathan administration, said the statement credited to Prof. Sagay on the 23rd December, 2015 that tends to vilify Jonathan on the ongoing arms scam, is not only unfortunate, but unprofessional.
He said: “One should expect the respected learned scholar to know that you don’t hang a suspect on the pages of newspaper or via social media until he or she is found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“Even where the learned jurist feel passionate of such a sensitive but sensational issue, he should know the right route to the villa rather than taking such prejudicial position. It is high time our legal luminaries confined themselves to the noble enclave of their profession than toeing the path of some mischief politicians whose main occupation is perceiving every matter from the point of sheer politics and propaganda”.
Continuing, Mr. Suleiman said: “Nigeria awaits the report of Sagay committee on how best to fight corruption in our polity. And we pray that when the report of his Committee finally comes out, it will reflect and incorporate the noble principles of rule of law, fair hearing and impartiality so as to meet the irreducible minimum standard expected in matters of this nature. We also pray that it may not end up dashing, rather than raising the hopes of average Nigerian in the vintage APC fashion, as with most things these days”.