President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has been called upon to sack the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister for Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, for misleading the Federal Government and the general public on the privatisation of Daily Times of Nigeria as well as taking actions which militated against efforts at gainful operations of the publishing organisation.
A socio-political group, South-east Forum for Justice and Economic Empowerment (SEFOJE), said it wanted the minister sacked for his role in the crisis which had allegedly constituted hindrances to the progress of Daily Times Newspapers.
The group in a statement issued yesterday and signed by its Executive Secretary, Mr. Desmond Elugwu Okere, stated that the decision of the minister to institute criminal proceedings against the Anosike brothers and their company (Folio Comm-unications) in fragrant disregard to professional advice of the Inspector General of Police (IG) who was alleged to have directed that the case was civil in nature, came short of the expectations from a Minister of Justice.
“We are quite aware that the case which the AGF instituted against the Anosikes and their Company Filio Communica-tions Limited has been dismissed in court because the AGF and all his gang members cannot muster enough facts to prosecute the case. We are also aware of the plot by the oppressors to look for loopholes on which they would re-start the case, all in desperate bid to continue to keep Daily Times stagnant.”
We have also gone through the many revelations from an article written by one Mr. Bonaventure Melah and published in several newspapers with the title: ‘How Federal Government Frustrates Investors in Nigeria.
“It is our considered opinion that rather than blame the Federal Government on this matter, the Attorney General of the Federation should be sanctioned for misleading both the Federal Government and the general public into thinking that the process leading to the sale of Daily Times Plc was flawed when in actual fact all required due processes were met and that this has been the position of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on the matter.
“The eyes of the world are now opened to the fact that the AGF instituted criminal action against the Anosikes for reasons best to known to him but certainly not in the best interest of the nation or for the good of the Nigerian economy. The AGF must have been acting in the spirit of those who think that Ibos should not be allowed into the mainstream of the nation’s economy. This is so because most of the public enterprises that were privatised were sold without allowing Ibos fair participation.
“Again, we were meant to understand that Article 10.2 of the Sale and Share Purchase Agreement (SSPA) on the transaction of the sale of Daily Times provided that in the event of a dispute arising there from, the dispute should be resolved through arbitration in which case, each of the parties would have one representative. We therefore want the President to ask the man who is supposed to be Minister of Justice why he decided to follow the path of injustice and impunity in resorting to going to court rather than arbitration as the rules provided as well as instituting criminal proceedings instead of allowing the disputants face themselves in a civil litigation as the Inspector General of Police recommended after thorough investigations,” the group queried.
“On the strength of the above and other related unjust matters, we pray that the President dispense with the likes of the AGF whose actions constitute serious and obvious stain on the record of the government,” Okereke concluded.
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