“Please, I beg all of us, let us separate criminality from politics. Wherever a criminal is identified, the law must have its way; the full weight of the law must be brought on the person. Otherwise, you may be a victim tomorrow if we don’t eliminate criminality in this society.”
These were the view expressed by a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) at a civil society round-table discussion organized by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) against the backdrop of the investigation and prosecution of suspected Offa bank robbers that recently implicated the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
Falan saidthat anyone found to be connected to the Offa bank robbers should be separated from politics, recalling how a Brazilian bank was duped of the sum of $240 million by a Nigerian fraudster, adding that the bank reached out to him and 11 others for legal aid.
“They came to me, among the 11 lawyers. How do we collect this money? How do we go about it? It was very difficult because the police here then were part of the criminality. The main fellow that was to be arrested, the EFCC arrested him in the guest house of the IG.
“We were looking for a criminal and he was being sheltered by the IG — just like you are looking for the vehicle with which a bank was robbed and you find it in the state house. That is the level of impunity in our country. And some people are shouting ‘this is political victimisation’. Nonsensical!
“They reported in Ekiti last week during a rally, and this is a common thing in Nigeria, and I do hope we are going to use the Offa case to disarm all thugs in Nigeria. All of them are known by the DSS and the police.”