Read Time:2 Minute, 36 Second
A former commissioner of Information, Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday accused the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), of misadvising President Goodluck Jonathan on the declaration of the state of emergency in the three north-eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
The Ijaw leader also lampooned the Attorney-General of the Federation for being ineffective and weak in the federal government’s fight against corruption.
Clark who addressed journalists in his Asokoro, Abuja residence explained that there were instances where Adoke was not ready to join the president in the fight against corruption.
The former minister said he was not calling for the resignation of Adoke from office, but said, “If you are in a position you can’t discharge your duties as expected, you know what to do.
“I have been patient with him. I have watched the AGF for a number of years. I know he has not been doing well, especially in the fight against corruption.
“So many cases are dragging in court and he seems not to be bothered. He ought to have advised the President on many of them and the activities of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC).”
He said the minister has not been doing his job on this and on many others.
According to Clark, it was wrong for the minster to have advised the President not to have sacked the governors of the three states under the emergency rule.
In an open letter addressed to Adoke, the foremost Ijaw leader said he did not give correct legal advice to the President on the issue.
He said instead of upholding their oath of office, some government officials were not doing this because of other considerations.
He said, “One would have expected that in a serious matter such as this, due diligence and sincerity would make it possible for public officers to give correct legal advice to Mr. President, to enable him handle these cases with all his inherent powers.”
Citing many cases and instances that led to the declaration of state of emergency in the country before, Clark said there was no time when the Supreme Court said it was illegal to sack elected governors and other decorated institutions in states where the emergency rule was declared.
Clark, a lawyer, added that Jonathan ought to have followed the example of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who when he declared state of emergency in both Plateau and Ekiti States, sacked the governors of the affected states.
He said the judgement, which the then Governor of Plateau State, Sen. Joshua Dariye relied on and which reinstated him in office, didn’t declare the emergency rule imposed on his state illegal.
“From my own analysis and objective appraisal, there was no where in the case of the Plateau State judgment that the Supreme Court ruled that the suspension of democratic structures was unconstitutional,” Clark added.