A human right activist and legal luminary chief Femi Falana has added his voice to call for the probing of Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his Vice, Atiku Abubakar .
The lawyer argu that the two former leaders should be dragged to court over acquisition of alleged ill-gotten wealth while in office, the fight against corruption in the country could be meaningful.
Falana made this submission in Ilorin in a paper he presented at the annual public lecture organised by the Law Students Society (LSS), Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin.
He queried what he described as “enormous wealth” allegedly acquired illegally by the two former leaders.
“As I am speaking with you, some of us including Chief Gani Fawehinmi and other activist have concluded plans to take on the former President and his vice to account for the wealth they acquired while in office.
“For instance, when Obasanjo was released from Prison in 1998,he had about N25, 000.At the expiration of his two term tenure, his assets worth over N25 billion. We would make him and his vice to forfeit the assets they acquired illegally while in office. The former President used his official position to raked 0ver N 7 billion for his Presidential Library contrary to the provisions of the constitution”, he said.
In his lecture titled: “Ethics, governance and the rule of law in Nigeria”, Falana said the crusade against corruption in the country would continue unabated unless the immunity clause is expunged from the 1999 constitution, nothing that the high rate of corruption among the political class on the immunity enjoyed while in office.
“I want to say, categorically that section 308 of the 1999 constitution has encouraged our elected leaders to be involved in corrupt practices while in office since the President, governors and their deputies could neither be tried, nor prosecuted while in office.
“It is not the provisions of the constitution that are the problem parse, but the operators of the provisions. It is very difficult for any legislature in the country to successfully impeach any governor or President. This is why some of the impeachments carried out in the country were done outside the tenets of the law”.
“Therefore, there is need to expunge this clause from our statutory book if indeed the war against corruption would be successfully fought in this nation. It should be noted, that, it is the vigilance of the media and civil societies that expose corruption in any society, because governments across the world usually cover corruption.
“No government in the world can successfully fight corruption alone. Therefore, Nigerians should be courageous enough to wage total war against this menace”, he added.
The legal practitioner also decried the doctrine of plea bargaining in the nations legal system, saying it is another factor that encourages corruption among public office holders.