Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose has blasted human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) over the allegations by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) linking the lawyer to a N1bn property located at 43 Gana Street, Maitama, Abuja, saying it was embarrassing, shameful, disgraceful that such a man of his stature, reputed to be a human rights activist, friend of the masses, crusader of justice and defender of democracy could be linked to such scandal.
Fayose and Falana
While addressing the press in Ado Ekiti on Monday, the Governor said, “It is has become necessary to add my voice to the new scandal where you find our supposed men of honour, defenders of democracy, crusaders of justice, people who want corruption stamped out of our land, allegedly traced to similar unfortunate purchases of alleged stolen property.
Especially, when such allegations are coming from the number one minster of justice for the nation, Abubakar Malami (SAN),” he said.
Recall that the embattled former chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, had accused Falana of buying the building which was one of the properties he helped to seize from pension thieves and handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Malami had while testifying before the National Assembly last week, echoed the allegation, saying the property was sold to a ‘Lagos lawyer’.
Falana has however denied the allegation but the governor said, ” The disclosure by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, that a Lagos-based lawyer, was one of many highly placed Nigerians who allegedly were compensated by the EFCC and Ibrahim Magu with properties retrieved from corrupt government officials was initially taken with a pinch of salt.
“However, Mr Falana, friend and defender of every obnoxious act by EFCC and Magu, has come into the open to not only give veracity to the allegation but also admit that he was the Lagos-based lawyer in question.
” Falana’s attempt to be clever by half in the explanations he offered to justify his alleged atrocious act; whether or not he was a first degree or third degree buyer; his efforts to white-wash what is an alleged fraudulent deal and a betrayal of public trust ; whether or not he bough personally or through company or proxy; and his desperate double speak to wriggle out of this tight corner; whether court has ruled or has not ruled, all fell flat on its face,” he said.
Governor Fayose who insisted that truth must be told, further said: “We must call a spade a spade and what is bad is bad. It is sad, disgraceful and shameful that Falana, a supposedly social crusader, anti-corruption advocate, and friend of the masses, can be cited in such odious, obscene, and offensive conduct.”
The governor therefore urged the Federal Government to ensure that the allegation against Falana is properly investigated and not swept under the carpet
“Linking Falana to illegally acquired properties seized by the EFCC is bad enough but the facts provided by Malami makes the case against Falana even worse.
“This must be the real reason why Falana always fall head over heels in defence of the EFCC and Magu, not minding the vicious violations of the constitutionally-gurranted rights freedoms, and liberties of citizens. What we have always suspected has now been confirmed publicly and by no less a person as the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
“Falana’s alleged unprincipled and disgusting defence of the EFCC and Magu’s penchant for disrespect of the rule of law and due process is for selfish reasons and personal gain.
“How many more Falana’s do we have in the system? Malami should please help us to expose them. Some dubious elements have been deceiving the people and feeding fat on a so-called anti-corruption war that exists only in their imaginations. This Falana-gate must not be swept under the carpet like so many others before it. It is so disgusting that what was recovered from a thief has been stolen by an armed robber. It is a case of the loot being re-looted. Investigations must go back to the time of the pioneer EFCC chairman, Nuhu Ribadu to uncover those who have been cornering all choice properties recovered from looters.”