Quest for the Truth and Justice

KWSG should enforce stiffer law to curb cultism – Gold

Posted by on May 4th, 2017 and filed under Interviews, ShowBiz, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Bola Rasaq Gold is one of the renowned lawyers in the state going by his contribution to the legal profession. The principal counsel of Bola Rasaq & Co speaks with KAYODE ADEOTI on the need for Kwara state government to step up its game in addressing the cult rampage in the state. Excerpts:

Public has faulted the involvement of the Attorney-General of the federation in the committee set up to investigate SGF, what is your take on that?

From my opinion, I also believe he should not be there, I don’t know how this report will override the former one because Malami has exonerated the SGF in the first place in the earlier report. He should have been given the role to watch the turn of event and see what the committee headed by the Vice President Osibanjo comes out with.

Do you subscribe to the fact that Kwara state can promulgate law that will address cultism menace in the state?

Before 2004, it was drastically reduced because of the kind of law that was in effect at that time, after when government had asked them (cultists) to surrender all that they had, they all came out to surrender their weapons, because they were assured that anybody who heeded the instruction will not be prosecuted, it was like an amnesty programme. During this time, the enforcing law promulgated was stiff. The penalty for it was grievous; it was put for 10years with an additional fine of N50.000. The implication is that if a cultist is sentenced, he will pay an additional fine of N50.000. And there was reduction of the menace in the state, in fact, some members of the groups ran away from the state.

However, having renounce, the law was so strict that you can go back. But going by reason best known to the state government, another policy was promulgated, reducing the penalty provision for the offense. The moment it was reduced, what do you expect? Influx of them in the state. But, government has realised that and they want to go back to the era when the law was stiff. They should equally call for renunciation then make the law stiffer than before.

Can you put a face to the series of controversy that has trailed the ownership of the money recovered recently in Ikoyi?

First, we need to know that keeping huge money at home depends on individual; you don’t expect someone like Abiola of blessed memory not to have millions of naira in his house, people are afraid to put money in bank in this present regime. When President Buhari was coming into power, because of post 1984 when he came into government and change currency, many people lost huge amount of money as a result of this change in currency, now people became wiser, what they do now, they don’t keep naira; they keep dollars, pounds-sterling. Now, let us go to what happened recently in Ikoyi. Rivers state government claimed the money belongs to it, NIA came forward too. But the fact remains, how does River state owns the money? I am happy there is a committee on that now, it’s only NIA that has persistently be coming to say the money belong to it. In the first instance, when we first heard about the news, we felt it is no case because that house was not built by ghost, somebody has keys to it and that somebody somewhere must be able to tell us how that money flew into his or her apartment. I don’t see crisis in the ownership of it because it couldn’t have walked there on its own. We can only observe things now till all that is hidden is brought to the open.

Would you say the anti-graft agencies, especially the EFCC are doing well in terms of information giving on the issue to the populace?

I don’t like how they manage their information. I am seeing EFCC giving the information as people want it not as professional. As professional, you have information from a whistleblower; investigation ought to have been carried out very well before Nigerians get the knowledge of it. There was a crisis about who even owns the house in the first place before we even started talking about who owns the money. Affirmatively, somebody acquire that land, built on it, rented it out, and there will a be kind of legal body that will equally be managing it. Mysteries surrounding it supposed to have been unravelled in the first place before allowing it to get to the public consumption. It doesn’t sound well when people now have to be asking series of questions that questioned their professionalism. They said it was Adamu Mu’azu that owns the apartment. I believe a lot will be opened up following this case.

We seem not to hear anything again about Prof. Sagay’s saga with the Senate and that of Customs Controller summon, can you put things in the right perspectives?

I don’t want to talk about that.

Is it true that Presidency ought not to have forwarded Magu’s name to the Senate for confirmation as EFCC boss in the first place?

Whoever says that doesn’t read the constitution very well, EFCC is not mentioned in the constitution but the law that created it says its chairman must be confirmed by the Senate. The National Assembly made the law in line with the constitution and the law being made says about EFCC that whoever will head it must be confirmed by the senate.

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