This blog has several times reported on Nigeria’s prosecution of corruption whistleblower Olanrewaju Suraju (here, here, here). His “crime:” Helping expose massive bribery in the nation’s oil sector.
Fortunately, for both Mr. Suarju and the citizens of Nigeria, Nigerian civil society is standing behind him, demanding the farcical prosecution cease. Below is the most recent show of support.
Legal Defence & Assistance Project or LEDAP, a prominent Nigerian human rights NGO denounces the prosecution and calls not only for the government to immediately drop the charges against Mr. Suraju but investigate those behind this perversion of course of justice.
LEDAP condemns the prosecution of anticorruption crusader, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, Calls for investigation of Mr. Suraju’s corruption allegations in the Malabu Oil Scam.
LEDAP strongly condemns the prosecution of Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, the chairman of the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) for his allegations of corruption against the former Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, in the Malabu oil block allocation scam. Mr. Suraju has consistently made public massive bribery and abuse of power against Mr. Adoke and other foreign companies, for which some are currently facing criminal charges in Italy. Rather than investigate the allegations raised in Mr. Suraju’s many petitions, the Attorney General has elected to prosecute him, undermining the so-called anti-corruption agenda of the regime.
Mr. O. Suraju was on Friday 18th February, 2022, arraigned on a two-count charge filed by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) before a Federal High Court at Abuja. He was accused of cyber-stalking a former AGF, Mr. Mohammed Adoke. No mention was made of the veracity or otherwise of the corruption allegations by Mr. Suraju against Mr. Mohammed Adoke. Moreso, Mr. Suraju was charged under section 24 of Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015, which the ECOWAS court of justice has earlier declared as contrary to Nigeria constitution because it infringes on the right to freedom of expression and the press.
LEDAP is concerned that the prosecution of Mr. Suraju by the Attorney General of the Federation not only violates his right to freedom of expression as provided in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), but constitutes a blatant attack against human right defenders and anti-corruption crusaders in Nigeria. These are patriotic citizens who are fighting for the public interest of the country.
LEDAP urges that Federal Government to investigate the allegations of corruption against the former AGF, Mr. Mohammed Adoke relating to the Malabu Oil scam, and withdraw all charges against Mr. Suraju.
FOR: LEDAP – Legal Defence &Assistance Project
Chino Obiagwu SAN, Lead Counsel/National Coordinator