Text of a Press Statement of the Public Interest Lawyers League, PILL



In the course of 2012, the Public Interest Lawyers League (PILL) consistently bemoaned the level of corruption we have had to contend as a nation of people; and had consistently argued that President Jonathan had not shown (and still don’t ) the will and desire to fight corruption. This lack of will and desire PILL argues has given rise to the disdain for the law, impunity, outright and unbridled theft of our patrimony. Under President Jonathan’s watch, no public servant of importance (read notoriety) has been convicted of the most heinous public crime of abuse public trust. Those oil subsidy scammers accused of swindling the state are daily treated with kid gloves, heralded into our courts and barracked by batteries of cameramen as if they were Nollywood stars. Sadly, these trials are sadly what they are: show trials orchestrated to feed the frenzies of our Court of public opinion!
The Executive arm of government isn’t alone. The Legislature has shown outright disdain for public trust as well. During the year, the House of Representatives was rocked by two scandals that involved two high profile House Committees’ chairmen, Herman Hembe and Farouk Lawan. Whilst Herman Hembe was accused of bribe solicitation, Farouk Lawan was allegedly caught on tape soliciting and collecting bribe. Sadly, the Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal, who has consistently shown industry by exposing the shenanigans of the Executive Arm, sees nothing wrong with the laundry his leadership has given to the two errant and morally dubious members of the House of Representatives. Only last week the Privileges’ Committee of the House cleared Farouk Lawan of all wrong doings. A case of Aminu Tambuwal protecting his own!
The Nigerian Judiciary remains what is it is, corrupt. The erosion of the credibility of that bastion that the common man believes is his rampart of justice has been quite noticeable in 2012. And at no point in our history than now has our judiciary become the laughing of the world. No thanks to our cash-and-carry judges and to who foisted the shame that attended the illegal removal of Justice Salami on our country.
Today, our country is at the crossroad of death as it writhes under the weight of corruption. The three estates of the realm must show the resolve to breathing life into our dying country. The first step is to rescue our country from corruption that is killing it. The leaders of the realm: President Jonathan and Vice-President Sambo, Senate President Mark and Speaker Tambuwal, Chief Justice Mukhtar and Court of Appeal President Bulkachuwa must publicly commit themselves to fighting corruption by publicly declaring their Assets. At least this minimum doesn’t take much of a damn.
Abdul Mahmud
3rd December 2012                     


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