Apologise to Nigerians for saying Abacha didn’t steal, Falana tells Buhari

A constitutional lawyer and renowned human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), on Wednesday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to tender an unreserved apology to Nigerians over his claim that the late military dictator, General Sani Abacha did not steal monies belonging to the Nigerian state.

Falana, who stated this at a one-day conference on “Agenda Setting for Citizens’ Interaction with Stolen Assets Recovery: Abacha Loot Recovery and Utilisation as Case study” organised by the Human Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) in collaboration with Actionaid and Centre for Communication and Social Impact, maintained that the Buhari-led government has no reason to absolve the late General, having recovered part of his looted funds even while he was alive.

“The president should apologise to Nigerians now that his government has been receiving part of the funds from countries where the funds were stashed,” he said.

Falana, while delivering his keynote address, also indicted western countries like the United Kingdom, Switzerland, among others, for harbouring the looters even though they realised that the funds being spent in their respective countries were stolen funds.

He called on government to beam its searchlight on former leaders alleged to have soiled their hands with public funds, reiterating that Buhari should now admit he erred by tendering an apology to Nigerians.

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Commenting on the issue of a lawmaker representing Adamawa North Senatorial district, Senator Elisha Abbo, who allegedly assaulted a nursing mother at a sex toy shop in Wuse, Abuja, Falana said he had taken the matter up by writing the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu to investigate the matter and pursue it to logical conclusion.

The legal luminary said that he would press for the arraignment and prosecution of the senator, if he was indicted.

“A very sad event that took place whereby a senator was alleged to have beaten up a nursing mother in spite of pleas from people who were there.

“This matter is being taken up. Before coming here this morning, I had already sent a letter to the IGP for immediate investigation and prosecution of the senator.

“Of course, since he is presumed innocent until the contrary is proven, as they say in Nigeria, we are asking for investigation but if he is indicted, of course, we are going to press that he be arraigned and prosecuted for assault occasioning harm punishable under the penal code applicable in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

“Of course there is a new law that all of us should be aware of. We are also going to ask the IGP to charge the senator if indicted under Section 2 of the Anti-Torture act of 2017,” he said.

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