The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN) has denied funding anti-election lawsuits.
The AGF, who stated this in a statement in Abuja on Friday by his Senior Special Assistant, Mr. Peter Akper (SAN) faulted an article published in an online medium that he was secretly funding anti-election suits through his cronies.
The statement said that the article sought to portray the attorney-general as the person actively using other people (named and unnamed) to scuttle the forthcoming elections through the filing of frivolous suits.
It stated, “What is even more preposterous was the assertion that “the Attorney General had received and was solely managing the disbursement of a war chest of N2bn provided by President Jonathan to enable him to recruit a retinue of groups to file lawsuits aimed at further postponement of the elections, their termination, or the disqualification of Muhammadu Buhari, the main opposition candidate.”
The AGF’s aide said after reading the article, he initially dismissed it as a mere tale emanating from the fertile imagination.
He stated, “Upon deep reflection and the unfortunate trust deficit that pervades the polity, I decided to confront the Attorney General who incidentally is my boss, colleague and confidant.”
According to him, his relationship with Adoke shows that the minister cannot be associated with such lawsuits.
Akper stated, “I wish to categorically state from my vantage position that these allegations are not only false, but are designed to harass, distract and intimidate the attorney-general from discharging his duties.
“Let Nigerians be assured that the Attorney General of the Federation remains committed to the conduct of free, fair and credible elections and within the time frame clearly stipulated in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and the Electoral Act, as amended.”
“Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, is very conscious of the ethical and professional demands of his high office and his constitutional responsibility as ‘Guardian’ of the Constitution and has demonstrated this time and again in the discharge of his duties.”
Akper said Adoke was one public officer that has the moral conviction and courage to speak the truth at all times in the defence of national interest no matter whose ox is gored.
The senior special assistant stated, “Aware of his place in history and the experiences of his predecessors in office, Mr. Adoke has refrained from partisanship and has not allowed it to becloud his sense of judgment.
“It was this strength of character that prompted him to disassociate himself from the affidavit that was supposedly deposed to on his behalf, by a Staff of the Federal Ministry of Justice without his authority and knowledge of its contents.”
He recalled that the attorney-general of the federation on becoming aware of the affidavit in question took responsibility for the actions of his staff and directed the affidavit to be withdrawn.
Akper said, “Those who know him would readily agree that if he believed in the contents of the Affidavit, he would have had the courage to stand by it. However, in this instance, he believed that the Affidavit represented a perverse interpretation of relevant provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act.”
“Mr. Mohammed Adoke, as I know him, is irrevocably committed to the conduct of the general elections; he is a constitutional purist who would rather resign his office, than engage in acts capable of undermining the Constitution.”
“His strength of character and personal conviction will not permit him to resort to underhand tactics in order to subvert the electoral process. To the best of my knowledge, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation has not received N2bn to facilitate the filling of lawsuits to postpone, terminate the elections or disqualify any candidate.”
He said that the position of the Office the Attorney General is a position of public trust.
“Nigerians should therefore avail themselves of the open door policy of the Ministry to verify information instead of fabricating tales that are capable of misleading the public and occasioning undue anxiety in the polity,” he said.