Governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo State and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, on Tuesday threw caution to the wind as they engaged in a shouting match at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The altercation between the duos almost degenerated to fisticuffs but for the intervention of the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadome, and the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Oshiomole and Adoke were seen exchanging words inside the Chamber and before one could say Jack Robinson, temper rose as they pointed fingers at each other.
They were both at the State House for the Council of State meeting but the show of shame was displayed prior to the arrival of President Goodlcuk Jonathan, who, statutorily, presides over the Council.
The crux of the matter, it was later learnt, was the handling of investigation of the murder of Oshiomole’s Private Secretary, Olaitan Oyerinde, last year.
The AGF had told the governor that the matter should not have been referred to his office as it was a state matter.
Oshiomole said he was enraged because the AGF seemed not to have respect for his office.
He said Adoke should have directed his anger at the Deputy Inspector General of Police that referred the case to the federal level.
After the meeting, correspondents cornered Oshiomole to explain what transpired between the duos.
Oshiomhole said: “The issue is that he was saying my Attorney General should have known what to do, that he has nothing to do with the matter.
“And I simply asked him who referred the matter to him?
“Was it my attorney general?
“The matter was referred to him by the Deputy Inspector General of Police.
“And I asked him who should know better, if the Deputy Inspector General of Police refers a matter that he ought to have referred to the state, he chose to refer it to the federal attorney general, who is the one dragging him into the matter, who is the one politicizing the matter?
“Should we assume that a DIG did not know that that offence of murder is a state offence?
“And if he knew it was a state offence why did he refer it to the federal attorney general?
“And I said if he has any complaint he should complain to the DIG who referred the case to him.
“And of course the rest you witnessed.
“The point is that you know some of these guys.
“I am a governor.
“I am elected.
“A minister is appointed.
“He has to respect my office even if he doesn’t respect my person.
“In any event, we are dealing with a factual issue.
“If a case was wrongly referred to the federal attorney general by the Nigerian police, who is to blame?
“In any event, we also complained that this matter ought to have been referred to Edo State DPP not federal because is a state offence, committed in Edo State.
“I mean you know, it is like a case of a he goat when the family is happy they sacrifice the he goat to celebrate.
“When the child is ill, the native doctor says sacrifice the he goat so that the child will get better.
“So head or tail the he goat is in trouble.
“Here I am, my private secretary is killed.
“Nobody seems to bother.
“I am doing my best to raise the issue because that is the least I owe to someone who gave his life.
“And someone else who doesn’t think life is important.
“For him, it is a matter to trivialize and to joke about.
“I always say to people today, all of us are in power, tomorrow none of us will be in power.
“If we leave Nigeria worse off, we will wallow in a hopeless situation.
“If we build it and make it safe, we will walk in freedom.”
Reacting, Adoke said he had no reason not to accord due respect to a siting governor like Oshiomhole but hastened to add that he will not join issues with him.
He said: “I will not disregard his office
“He is my personal friend.
“I have the highest respect for him.
“He is a governor of this country but I will not join issues with him.
“I did not trivialize his office and I have no reason to trivialize his office.
“He is at liberty as a governor in this country to say whatever he wants to say but I will accord his office the highest respect and I will not join issues with him.”