Opinion

Once upon Michael Aondoakaa: Is he now a SAN?

Credit:premiumtimes
  • Michael Aondoakaa is now a large scale farmer
  • He’s the Chief Executive Officer, MIVA Nigeria Limited (Miva Rice)
  • Michael Kaase Aondoakaa is from Benue State

Several reports I read about Michael Kaase Aondoakaa weren’t enough to make me conclude his SAN has been restored.

He’s the minister of justice during the turbulent days of Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’Adua in office.

While some online articles refuse to add SAN to his name, a few others do.

That’s why I want to know if the former attorney general’s title his lost years back has been restored.

Born on June 12, 1962, Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa was the most controversial Nigeria’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.

Credit:informationng
Credit:informationng

“In 2010, the Legal Privileges Committee (LPPC) suspended Mr Aondoakaa from using the rank of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria for two years following a petition by the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) and a ruling by a Calabar Federal High Court on June 1, 2010, that he was unfit to hold the office of the Attorney General or any public office in Nigeria.

“After due consideration of the said response, has decided in its wisdom, to suspend him [Aondoakaa] from the use of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria and all other privileges attached to that rank, pending the outcome of the investigation by the sub-committee set up by the legal practitioners privileges committee,” Premium Times.

He was the minister that said incapacity of a sitting president wasn’t enough reason for such president to resign.  Some people say he “ignorantly” claimed that a sick president could rule from any part of the world: whether on sick bed or not.

Some said Aondoakaa, a prominent member of late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s government, “was notorious for his brash support of the government and his shameless defence of corrupt former governor of Delta State, James Ibori.’

James Ibori was later found guilty of money laundering offences and jailed for a 13-year prison term in the United Kingdom, the same offences Nigerian judiciary acquitted Ibori of.

Since he assumed office as a minister of justice on July 26, 2007, he’s famous for making controversial statements as regards the ill-health of the former President Yar’Adua.

He was sacked as minister of justice in controversial circumstances on February 10, 2010 by the Acting President Goodluck Jonathan.

He ruled Nigeria’s Justice ministry as if it’d continue till eternity. His exit from office exposed him to a lot of ridicule.

Though, Information Nigeria quoted him as saying he’s quitting politics after it was reported that he had resigned from Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), the party under which he came to limelight.

“I am not joining any party. I am leaving now before anyone starts saying anything or insinuating anything; I am quitting partisan politics,” the Benue State-born controversial lawyer was quoted as saying.

It got to a stage he’s prohibited from holding public office in Nigeria and banned from entering the United States.

As if that wasn’t enough, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) asked for demotion of MICHAEL AONDOAKAA from the prestigious list of SANs in Nigeria.

Since he left office, nothing has been heard of him again.

June 12 will forever remain controversial in the political history of Nigeria, and that’s the exact date MICHAEL AONDOAKAA was born. Born before the annulment of that famous election, but he shares a history with that fateful day.

Credit:informationng
Credit:informationng

A  full text of petition requesting removal of SAN title from Aondoakaa

PETITION AGAINST CONTINUATION OF MICHAEL AONDOAKAA AS SENIOR ADVOCATE OF NIGERIA

The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights was formed in 1989 and has been existing in Nigeria as a foremost Human Rights organization whose activities contributed in no small measure and at great sacrifice by its members to the termination of military rule in Nigeria and achievement of the hard-earned democratic space being enjoyed currently in Nigeria. It is therefore our avowed responsibility to watch over the polity and monitor especially the acts and omissions of persons in governmental positions to ensure that the country does not regress to the abyss from which it was salvaged at very high human and material cost.

We are interested in furthering the course of the Rule of Law in Nigeria and it is pursuant to this that we present this petition against the continuation of Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa as a holder of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria due to his engagement in conducts that have brought the rank into disrepute.

Background:
It is very notorious that corruption has been the chief cause of the backwardness and or frustration of the development of Nigeria. The appreciation of this fact made the Federal government to set up the ICPC and the EFCC which organizations have pushed the fight against corruption to hitherto unattained levels in the history of Nigeria.

The effort of these Commissions has yielded immense positive results for the benefit of Nigeria and this has been applauded by Nigerians and the international community. However, during the tenure of Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa as the Attorney General of the Federation, the anti-corruption battle suffered serious setback, the cause of which is traceable to the deliberate acts of the AGF. The reason for this is not far fetched.

Prior to his appointment as the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN was a counsel to Governor Akume of Benue State against whom a petition was written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the strength of which the EFCC commenced investigation into the finances of the Benue State government which made it to request for access to relevant data.

In response, the Government of Benue State briefed Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN who got other counsel to co-sign the brief of argument in the suit they filed against the Attorney General of the Federation at the Supreme Court in which they claimed inter alia for the nullification of the EFCC Act and dissolution of the EFCC.

After the appointment of Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF and contrary to the ethics of the legal profession, he failed to withdraw the case or his representation in the case from the Supreme Court hence the case stood as being prosecuted by the AGF against himself as the respondent.

The AGF allowed this incongruous situation to continue for his selfish reasons until the Supreme Court, in its wisdom, struck out the case.

However, as shall be shown anon, Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF then proceeded to use his position as AGF to emasculate the anti-corruption institutions and pursue the same goals he could not pursue at the Supreme Court in the course of doing which he engaged in acts that abused the powers of his office and dragged the nobility of, not only the office of the AGF and of the rank of SAN but of the Legal Profession in the mud of infamy thereby violating the code of Ethics of the Legal Profession.

In presenting this petition, we are not oblivious of the provisions of Decree 24 of 1999 otherwise known as the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as it relates to the office of the AGF in sections 150 and 174 as follows:

  1. (1) There shall be an Attorney-General of the Federation who shall be the Chief Law Officer of the Federation and a Minister of the Government of the Federation.
  2. (1) The Attorney-General of the Federation shall have power –
    (a) to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court of law in Nigeria, other than a court-martial, in respect of any offence created by or under any Act of the National Assembly;
    (b) to take over and continue any such criminal proceedings that may have been instituted by any other authority or person; and
    (c) to discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by him or any other authority or person.
    (2) The powers conferred upon the Attorney-General of the Federation under subsection (1) of this section may be exercised by him in person or through officers of his department.
    (3) In exercising his powers under this section, the Attorney-General of the Federation shall have regard to the public interest, the interest of justice and the need to prevent abuse of legal process. (underlining ours)

In the same vein, it is necessary to also bear in mind the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners to which the AGF is subject most especially Rule 1 which provides as follows:
“A lawyer shall uphold and observe the rule of law, promote and foster the cause of justice, maintain a high standard of professional conduct and not engage in any conduct which is unbecoming of a legal practitioner.”

It is against this background that we shall now proceed to itemize such acts of misconduct and abuse of official powers by the former AGF, Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN,  which in our view have brought disrepute to the office of the AGF and Minister of Justice in Nigeria.

  • MR. MICHAEL KAASE AONDOAKAA SAN AS THE AGF TARGETED ANTI-CORRUPTION AGENCIES AND TOOK OVER THE STATUTORY PROSECUTORY POWERS OF THE ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC), INDEPENDENT CORRUPT PRACTICES AND OTHER RELATED OFFENCES COMMISSION (ICPC), AND CODE OF CONDUCT BUREAU (CCB) CONTRARY TO LAW, PUBLIC INTEREST AND THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE.
    Credit:premiumtimes
    Credit:premiumtimes
  • Soon after assuming office, Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN presented a formal memo to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria requesting for power to approve and or permit/direct all prosecutions by all the country’s anti-corruption agencies: Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission(ICPC), and Code of Conduct Bureau(CCB). This request was initially approved by the President. However, when the position of the law was made available to the President that the request by the AGF was contrary to the decision of the Supreme Court in FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA V. OSAHON   (2006) 24 WRN 1 which acknowledged that the EFCC and other agencies have statutory powers to initiate criminal proceedings apart from and without permission from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, the President was embarrassed and had to withdraw his approval to the utter embarrassment of the entire nation and to the chagrin of the un-amused international community. The AGF’s blunder exposed him as unfit for the office to which he has been appointed politically.

Notwithstanding the withdrawal of the approval however, Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF, by himself and through officers of his department have taken over and stalled the prosecution of many corruption cases instituted before he became the AGF among which are the following:

  • FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA V. ORJI UZOR KALU
    107 count charges filed by the EFCC against Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia state at the Federal High Court Abuja was taken over from counsel to the EFCC (which initiated same) by the AGF through the Federal Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) on the basis of a petition written to his office by counsel to the accused on the FALSE ground that a court order restraining the EFCC from arresting the accused person has been breached.

Whereas:
•    It is on record that the accused was arrested on the basis of a Warrant of Arrest issued by the Federal High Court;
(ii)    No restraining court order was ever made or produced by the accused or his counsel;
(iii)    The due process of challenging any such infraction of a pending court order was not followed as Counsel to the accused did not file any contempt proceeding against the EFCC if indeed there was such breach of a court order.
(iv)    The action of the AGF is tantamount to constituting himself to a supervisory court over the Federal High Court, delivering and enforcing his own judgment.

(2)    FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA V. MOSES ODIRRI: FHC/L/375C/200

In this case, the accused person was charged at the Federal High Court with obtaining the sum of N60 Million by false pretences from General Ishaya Bamaiyi who was in prison custody at the time.

This same accused person was a lawyer disrobed by the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee for falsely accusing the Supreme Court Justices of collecting Five Billion Naira bribe.

This charge was withdrawn against the accused person on the instruction of Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF through one Mr. M. S. Hassan, Head of the Legal Department in the EFCC. No reason was adduced at all for the withdrawal by virtue of which the charge was struck out.

Copy of the order issued by Justice T. Abubakar of the Federal High Court at Lagos on 15th day of May, 2009 is herewith attached and marked “AGF 1”.

  • Similarly, the charge of stealing the said sum of N60 million filed against the said Mr. Moses Odirri at the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja was also discontinued by Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF who usurped the powers of the Lagos State Attorney-General. Constitutionally, only the AG Lagos has power over the case.
  • FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA V. FRED AJUDUA: ID/41C/2003.
    This is a charge against the accused who is very notorious in his criminal activities and fraudulent scams which have brought ridicule and shame to and earned Nigeria the pariah status of a country of swindlers. Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF, through one of his officers has ordered that the case be adjourned sine die to allow for restitution by the accused via monthly installment payments to the complainant.

Copy of the AGF’s letter of instruction to the EFCC Ref No DPPA/REO/505/2008/41 dated 19th May, 2009 is herewith attached and marked “AGF 2”.

Whereas:
(i)    The charge was instituted against the accused in the public interest and in the interest of justice based on his criminal act against the state and not at the behest of the complainant.
(ii)    The accused person has pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.
(iii)    The commencement of payment by installments by the accused negates his “not guilty” plea and constitutes admission of the criminal charges for which he deserve to be sentenced by the court.
(iv)    Neither the accused nor his counsel has informed the court of the facts contained in the letter from the office of Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF hence the court is kept in the dark.
(v)    Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF has no power whatsoever to cause a case to be adjourned sine die on the ground of restitution.
(vi)    The order that the charge be adjourned sine die is tantamount to shielding the accused from the arms of the law.
(vii)    Since the case was instituted by the office of the Attorney-General of Lagos State, the AGF has no power in law to take over the case or cause it to be adjourned as he has done. All his actions in the case is ultra vires. Constitutionally, only the AG Lagos has power over the case.
(viii)    The actions of Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF violates public interest and the interest of justice.
(ix)    The actions of Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF defeated the rule of law, the cause of justice and is unbecoming of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

  • FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA V. JIMOH IBRAHIM: ID/51C/2008.
    This charge for forgery was filed by the office of the Attorney General of Lagos State before the Ikeja Division of the High Court of Lagos State. However, the AGF instructed the EFCC to discontinue the case via a letter dated 6th September, 2008 with Ref no HAGF/EFCC/2008/VOL.1/7 copy of which is herewith attached and marked “AGF 3”Copy of the consequential ruling of the court is also herewith attached and marked “AGF 4”

Whereas:
•    The offence charged was committed in Lagos.
•    The offence was investigated by the police in Lagos State and all the witnesses are resident in Lagos.
•    Since the case was instituted by the office of the Attorney General of Lagos State, the AGF has no power in law to take over the case or cause it to be adjourned as he has done. All his actions in the case is ultra vires. Constitutionally, only the AG Lagos has power over the case.
•    Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF has no lawful justification for his sudden interest in the case.

  • F.R.N.  V. MOHAMMED JAMIU AUDU & 2 ORS. – ID/16C/2007
    This charge was filed by the office of the Attorney General of Lagos State before the Ikeja Division of the High Court of Lagos State. The 2nd and 3rd accused persons in this charge were engaged by the 1st accused to commit economic crime with him. Both the 2nd and 3rd pleaded guilty and were sentenced by the court while the prosecution was prepared to prove its case against the 1st accused person who pleaded not guilty. However, and contrary to all known legal norms and criminal law practice and procedure, the office of the AGF caused another charge No FCT/HC/G/13/CR/2009 to be filed against the remaining principal accused person at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja while charge No ID/16C/2007 was still pending before the Ikeja Division of the High Court of Lagos State Thereafter, the AGF directed that the charge pending before the Lagos High Court be withdrawn to give effect to the fresh charge in Abuja via a letter dated 30th July, 2008 with Ref no DPP/ADV:100/09 copy of which is herewith attached and marked “AGF 4A”

Whereas:
•    The offence charged was committed in Lagos and the current position of the law is that criminal trials must be conducted within the state where the offence was committed as decided in the case of FGN V. Ibori whose pending charge before the Federal High Court in Kaduna was ordered to be remitted to the Federal High Court in Delta State. Hence, the new charge filed in Abuja is a gross abuse of court process.
•    Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF has no power to institute two charges against the same person in two different courts for the same offence.
•    The offence was committed and investigated by the EFCC in Lagos and all the witnesses are resident in Lagos.
•    Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF has no power to transfer a case from one court to another.
•    Two persons are already serving their sentences for committing the same offence as done by the principal accused person hence the AGF was assisting the accused person to escape from the weight of the law.
•    Since the case was instituted by the office of the Attorney General of Lagos State, t Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF has no power in law to take over the case or cause it to be adjourned as he did. All his actions in the case was ultra vires because constitutionally, only the AG Lagos has power over the case.
•    The motive of Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF in this instance was not in the interest of justice or the public interest.
•    The action of the AGF defeated the rule of law, violated the cause of justice and constituted abuse of judicial process which is unbecoming of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

It is obvious that his reason for doing this is to frustrate the on-going prosecutions in court instead of allowing due process to be followed to enable the accused persons prove their innocence. This meddling with due process has enabled accused persons to get away with the crime of corruption against the law and people of Nigeria.

This is a clear case of abuse of office by Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF, a breach of his oath of office and the ethics of the legal profession by which he brought the rank of SAN into disrepute.

Ironically, throughout his tenure as AGF, Mr. Aondoakaa did not initiate any criminal proceeding against any corrupt public officer. Rather, he has been blocking investigations and shielding those who have cases to answer from prosecution.

  • LYING  AND REFUSAL TO SIGN A REQUEST UNDER THE “MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE TREATY” SINCE AUGUST 2007 AS REQUESTED BY THE CROWN PROSECUTION SERVICE IN ORDER TO FRUSTRATE CORRUPT CHARGES PENDING AGAINST FORMER GOVERNOR JAMES ONANEFE IBORI AND 3 OTHERS.

On the 29th day of the month of May in year 2007, the tenure of Mr. James Ibori as governor of Delta State expired. Before the expiration of his tenure, the EFCC had been investigating allegations of corruption and money laundering against him and his sister, Christine Ibori-Ibie, his personal assistant, Adebimpe Pogoson and his mistress, Udoamaka okoronkwo but due to the constitutional immunity enjoyed by him, criminal charges could not be filed against James Ibori during his tenure.

It is worthy of note that the Metropolitan Police of the UK was also investigating the same allegations of corruption and money laundering against the four persons and in fact, Christine Ibori-Ibie, Adebimpe Pogoson and Udoamaka Okoronkwo were arrested in London in April 2006 and released on bail. In July 2007, a proceeding for restraint order was instituted against James Onanefe Ibori at the Crown Court at Southwark pursuant to the Proceeds of Crimes Act 2002 of the UK. The statement filed in the proceeding established a prima facie case of money laundering against the accused person, James Onanefe Ibori.

Soon after the expiration of his tenure on 29/5/07, the EFCC filed corruption charges against former governor James Onanefe Ibori and the 3 others before the Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna.

In response to a letter written by one Speechly Bircham LLP, the defence counsel to James Ibori and the 3 others in London and dated 4th August, 2007, which is aimed at eliciting a response that will assist in defeating the prosecution of the accused persons in the London court, the AGF admitted that James Onanefe Ibori was investigated in connection with his acts while in office but he wrote further that there was no record that he has been charged to any court in Nigeria or tried in respect of any offence.

Copy of the AGF’s letter Ref No HAGF/MLA/2007/VOL II dated 7th August is attached herewith and marked “AGF 5)

When the letter became public discourse, the AGF lied by vehemently denying writing such a letter but he swallowed his words and was compelled to admit when the letter was published in the media.

In order to aid their investigation and prosecution and pursuant to the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the governments of Nigeria and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, a request dated 30th August, 2007 was made to the office of the AGF.

However, the AGF refused to grant the request on the flimsy ground that it emanated from the Crown Prosecution Service instead of Secretary of State for the Home Department and on the additional false ground that no criminal proceeding has been instituted against the subject persons in Nigeria. Invariably the Attorney General was telling the British Court that it was trying Ibori if not illegally at least without his acquiescence.

Copy of the AGF letter ref HAGF/JOI/J21/VOL.II dated 12th November, 2007 is herewith attached and marked “AGF 6”.

In another letter dated 15th September, 2008, the AGF wanted the UK authorities to return documents already obtained by them from the EFCC to enable him authenticate them if he is satisfied that they disclose any offence triable under Nigerian laws even though the same documents have already grounded a charge in the Federal High Court here in Nigeria.

The AGF is also hinged his refusal on the ground that the EFCC have no power to give information under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty as they have done. This is also false because the law expressly clothed the EFCC with authority to do so without recourse to the AGF under section 6(k) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act which provides that the Commission shall be responsible for:
(k) dealing with matters connected with the extradition, deportation and mutual legal or other assistance between Nigeria and any other country involving Economic and Financial Crimes;

Copy of the AGF letter ref HAGF/HOM.SEC/2008/VOL.I / I dated 15th September, 2008 is herewith attached and marked “AGF 7”.

This false conclusion in both letters was deliberately reached by Mr Aondoakaa as AGF without bothering to obtain clarification from any of the anti-corruption agencies especially the EFCC which would have informed him that charges have already been preferred against the subject persons in Nigeria.

All efforts by the government of UK and their special delegation to Nigeria to prosecute the accused persons for money laundering were frustrated by the AGF contrary to the directive of the Nigerian President that he should co-operate fully with the government of the Great Britain.

The obvious rationale for his reluctance or refusal to approve the request by the UK authorities was to shield James Ibori and other accused persons from prosecution and possible punishment for the economic and financial offences they have obviously committed. It is gratifying to note that the other accused persons have been convicted in the UK for the offence they committed together with Mr. James Ibori who is now a fugitive.

  • REFUSAL BY MR. AONDOAKAA TO APPROVE THE REQUEST MADE BY THE METROPOLITAN POLICE TO ALLOW SOME EFCC OFFICERS SERVE AS PROSECUTION WITNESSES IN THE PROSECUTION OF CHRISTINE IBORI-EBIE, THE SISTER TO EX-GOVERNOR JAMES IBORI.

Upon receipt of a request made by the London Metropolitan Police that some of its officers serve as prosecution witnesses in the criminal trial of Christine Ibori-Ebie, the sister to ex-governor James Ibori, the EFCC formally wrote the Attorney General seeking permission to allow its officers do that but the Attorney General bluntly refused to give permission without any justification.

The action of Mr. Aondoakaa as the AGF defeats the essence of the rule of law, violates the cause of justice and constitutes misuse of judicial process which is unbecoming of a lawyer who is a holder of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

  • MR. AONDOAKA AS AGF DEPLOYED THE POWER OF HIS OFFICE TO SHIELD AND EXONERATE INDICTED FORMER GOVERNORS AND INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC CRIME FUGITIVES.
    •    Mr. Aondoaka as the AGF wrote a letter dated September 18, 2007 to a Magistrate, one Bensimon Jacque, of Justice Palace in Paris, France in which he questioned the propriety of the prosecution of Mr. Dan Etete, erstwhile Minister of Petroleum Resources under the Late General Sani Abacha’s regime, for money laundering charges by the French government under their own laws when Nigeria has not complained or brought any charge against the accused person in any Nigerian court. In the words of the AGF, he wrote: “permit me to state for the avoidance of any doubt that this office is unaware of any complaint or allegation of money laundering against the petitioner (Etete) to warrant any instruction to emanate from this office to any person howsoever called or described to proceed against the petitioner in relation to the ongoing prosecution in Paris”.

The clear intention of Mr. Aondoaka as the AGF was to halt the prosecution instead of allowing the former minister to account for the sources of the money traced into his account which was over and above his income as a minister in Nigeria.

We verily believe the accused person corruptly procured Mr. Aondoaka as the AGF to issue the letter in order to escape punishment for the criminal charges brought against him in France.

However, the Magistrate discountenanced the AGF’s letter and Mr. Dan Etete was subsequently found guilty and sentenced to three years imprisonment in absentia as well as to a fine of 300,000 Euros by the French court thereby rendering the advice of Mr. Aondoaka useless and of no significance.

This is abuse of office by the AGF, a breach of his oath of office and the ethics of the legal profession which is unbecoming of a holder of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

  • Mr. Aondoakaa as AGF on Thursday 10th September exonerated David Edevbie, the Principal Private Secretary to President Umaru Yar’Adua from the alleged involvement in money laundering in the Vmobile scandal. Whereas a charge was then pending against the said David Edevbie for money laundering in the UK.
  • Mr. Aondoaka as the AGF and the chief law officer of Nigeria ordered that allegations of forgery and obtaining money by false pretences running into billions of Naira levied against the Vaswani Brothers by Globe Motors should not be investigated further. Whereas the same Vaswani brothers were later apprehended, indicted and deported out of Nigeria for acts of gross corruption against the government and people of Nigeria. This questions the integrity and competence of the AGF who ought to know that the AGF has no power under our laws to stop criminal investigation against any person.
  • The case filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos challenging the deportation of the Vaswani brothers was not defended by Mr. Aondoaka as the Attorney-General of the Federation thereby paving way for their victory in court over the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  • Mr. Aondoaka as the AGF also single handedly cleared three former Governors- Bola Tinubu (Lagos), James Ibori (Delta) and Victor Attah (Akwa Ibom) while investigation by the EFCC was still in progress. Meanwhile in less than 24 hours after the Attorney General’s pronouncement on the former governors, the EFCC in a statement made on 11th September categorically said it has not cleared any of the accused thereby exposing Mr. Aondoaka who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria as a liar.
  • Furthermore, Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF accused the former Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Nuhu Ribadu, of deposing to an affidavit against the 3 governors in court concerning the sale of V- Mobile shares and when challenged, he failed to substantiate his statement which turns out to be a lie. This is highly unbecoming of a holder of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
  • DELIBERATE MIS-INTERPRETATION, MIS-APPLICATION AND/OR EXHIBITION OF INCOMPETENCE AND INADEQUATE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LAW BY MR. AONDOAKAA AS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION.

Mr. Aondoaka as the AGF consistently condemned the British Government’s indictment of Mr. James Ibori and some of his associates. As far as he was concerned, the conduct of the British Government was usurpation of Nigeria’s jurisdiction based on the fact that the ingredients of the alleged offences occurred in Nigeria.

Mr. Aondoaka as the AGF ought to know but did not know that modern international law allows countries to assume jurisdiction for offences committed outside their national boarders especially where such offences have international flavour.

Mr. Aondoaka as the AGF wrongly described himself as the only “central authority” to whom any request under the Mutual Legal Assistance treaty must be sent and from whom such requested assistance can be received and insisted in his letter dated 15th September, 2008 that the documentary evidence already sent to the British Authorities by the EFCC must first be returned to enable him authenticate them if he was satisfied.

Whereas under section 6 (j) and (k) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act, it is clearly provided that the Commission shall be responsible for:
(j) collaborating with government bodies both within and outside Nigeria carrying on functions wholly or in part analogous with those of the Commission …
(k) dealing with matters connected with the extradition, deportation and mutual legal or other assistance between Nigeria and any other country involving Economic and Financial Crimes;

From these provisions, it is clear to any lay person that where a request under mutual legal assistance treaty between Nigeria and any other country involves Economic and Financial Crimes, the EFCC has power to deal with such matter without reverting to the office of the AGF who in any case is represented on the Board of the Commission.

  • ACT OF EXTORTION AND OPPRESSION BY MR. MICHAEL KAASE AONDOAKAA SAN AS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION (AGF),

Mr. Michael kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF ordered and or masterminded the detention of one Alexander Gaadi over Gaadi’s refusal to give the minister a cut of the Forty–One Bllion Naira (N41B) awarded to the Zaki Biam for genocidal assault ordered by former president Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Mr. Michael kaase Aondoakaa SAN has nor refuted the allegation till date.

  • VARIOUS ACTS OF CORRUPTION BY MR. MICHAEL KAASE AONDOAKAA SAN DURING HIS TENURE AS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION,
  • The AGF bought a house worth =N=110 million in Abuja from Mr. Amusan, a member of the National Assembly from Ogun State and denied ownership claiming the house belongs to his brother Mr. Orya who is a banker working with Afribank International Limited (Merchant Bankers). Mr. Amusan gave away the Attorney General when he told The Nation reporters that he could not remember who bought the house from him even though the deal was concluded within the last three weeks of the interview.

We verily believe that the lifestyle of Mr. Michael Kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF and extent of the property or properties acquired by him since his appointment are not justified by his source of income.

The implication remains that he engaged in corrupt practices which brought the rank of SAN to disrepute.

  • Mr. Michael kaase Aondoakaa SAN as AGF compelled various departments of the Ministry of Justice to contribute N1.1 million each for a press conference to be addressed by the minister. He claimed that he needed the money to bribe journalists attending the press conference. Mr. Aondoakaa SAN never accounted for the disbursement of the funds.
  • FRUSTRATION OF GOVERNMENT’S ANTI-CORRUPTION CRUSADE
    Notwithstanding the plethora of available evidence and readiness of the international Community to assist Nigeria in exposing and bringing to book all corrupt public officials accused in the Halliburton and Siemens Bribery Scandal, Mr. Michael kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF frustrated the work of the panel set up by the Federal Government for the purpose.

Mr. Aondoakaa did not initiate criminal proceeding against any corrupt public officer since assumption of office. This gives impression that there is no corrupt public officer in Nigeria during the tenure of Mr. Michael kaase Aondoakaa SAN as AGF!

All the aforementioned cases constitute acts of gross professional misconduct, ethical shamelessness, corruption, incompetence and abuse of office by which MR. MICHAEL KAASE AONDOAKAA SAN has desecrated the office of the Attorney General and Minister for Justice and brought the Legal profession and the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria to disrepute and ridicule. Most if not all his actions in office are not in the interest of justice. Neither are they in the public interest.

We verily suspect that all the acts listed above were not done by Mr. Michael kaase Aondoakaa SAN as the AGF without gratification. This is why most of his activities are targeted at the anti-corruption institutions and corrupt persons in Nigeria and the general perception in the public arena is that Mr. Michael kaase Aondoakaa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and former AGF is corrupt. This view is also shared by the generality of Nigerian lawyers including Senior Advocates of Nigeria.

Based on the totality of the foregoing, the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) finds it imperative in the public interest and in the interest of maintaining the nobility and integrity of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria to ask the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee to withdraw the rank of SAN from Mr. Michael kaase Aondoakaa in order to keep the high esteem that is accorded the rank and the legal profession in Nigeria.

While awaiting your prompt action on our petition, we remain committed to the cause of human rights, good governance and rule of law in Nigeria.

Thanks.

Yours faithfully,

BARRISTER OLASUPO OJO
President.

CC:    President Goodluck Jonathan
President and Commader in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria
Aso Rock Villa
Abuja.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria
Supreme Court Building,
Abuja, FCT.

Mr. Bello Adoke
The Attorney General of the Federation
Office of the Attorney General
Federal Ministry of Justice
Abuja, FCT.

 

About the author

Opeyemi Quadri

3 Comments

Click here to post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Topics