Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has advised the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission not only to carry out thorough investigation of corruption cases, but also hire the services of ‘Ogbologbo’ lawyers.
An ‘Ogbologbo’, a Yoruba word means ‘seasoned, experienced person.
Obasanjo gave the advice while reacting President Muhammadu’s Buhari’s charge to the EFCC to stop losing cases.
“I was reading today when the President (Muhammadu Buhari) said the EFCC should stop losing cases. They lose cases for a number of reasons,” he said.
“One, they engage more of outside lawyers. I believe that they need staunch, `Ogbologbo'(seasoned) lawyers inside that will do the work.
“If I am a lawyer and I want the opponent to win a case, what I will file will be ‘wishy washy’. And if I file a ‘wishy washy’ case, the opponent will see the loophole and he will get out of it. I believe that it is important.
“Secondly, thorough investigation is very important. Now, investigation must be thorough, it must be proper and it must be really taken seriously.
“Third, our judges must be committed in fighting corruption.
“They must be committed to 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.
“So it is a chain: investigation, prosecution and the judiciary. If there is weakness along this line, chances are that corruption cases will continue to be lost.”
Obasanjo made the comments on Sunday while playing host to members of the correspondents chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ogun chapter, at his hilltop residence in Abeokuta.
He also debunked the allegation that his government plotted to kill Ishaya Bamaiyi, former chief of army staff, as claimed by Bamaiyi in his book.
The former president explained that his administration only asked Bamaiyi to respond to accusations that he was responsible for some killings, saying that the decision was legitimate.
“That I wanted to kill him? What of the people he killed? My government did not plot to kill him,” he said.
“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 is all.
“Who the hell is he that I would want to kill him? Kill him for what? To achieve what? No! .
“There were allegations, the police and the law enforcement agencies decided to look into the allegations.
“They invited him and they asked him to answer as a result of what was found, so they charged him to court.
“So, it’s now up to him, the investigators as I said, the prosecutors and the judiciary. That’s all.”
Bamaiyi had alleged that his incarceration for more than eight years was punishment for opposing the choice of Obasanjo as successor to Abdulsalami Abubakar, former head of state.
The allegation was contained in his book, ‘Vindication of A General’, which was unveiled last weekend in Abuja.
Bamaiyi also claimed in the book that the incarceration was to keep him away for fear that he would overthrow the Obasanjo government.
He wrote that as soon as Obasanjo took over, Abubakar and some of his people told Obasanjo that if he [Bamaiyi] was left free, he would overthrow the government.