Friday, 20 August 2010 12:27

NIGERIA: Adoke - I Can't Prosecute Yarima Over Marriage to Egyptian Girl


Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), yesterday said as irresponsible as Senator Ahmed Sani Yarima's marriage to an alleged 13-year-old Egyptian girl is, he cannot be prosecuted.

Adoke, who said this during a courtesy call on the Information and Communications Minister Prof Dora Akunyili, said even though Yarima's actions can be regarded as that of a pedophile, he can only be prosecuted on the basis of law.

"I will not prosecute people on the basis of impression. The Child Rights Act was not meant for foreigners but for the Nigerian child, I will prosecute Yarima only in accordance with the law," he said.

Adoke denied reports which alleged that he withdrew charges of fraud against the Vaswani brothers (owners of the Stallion Group who were deported for the second time in 2009) and facilitated the reversal of their deportation. "They were wrongfully deported, they felt that their deportation was illegal and they went to court, the court said the deportation was oppressive, irregular and null and void. As a responsible AGF I had no option but to comply with the court's order.

I am not going to be an AGF who will prosecute people on the basis that I want to impress people irrespective of their political persuasion or differences but on the basis of law. I am ready to be attacked or sacked for doing the right thing." He also denied saying that the Okigbo panel report was missing. "When I assumed office as the AGF, I got a request from a civil society group requesting that I should prosecute General Ibrahim Babangida on the basis of the Okigbo report but those making the allegations are intellectually lazy. I don't have a copy of the report and I am not a custodian of the report. I never said the Okigbo report was missing, the office of the SGF said so because they did not have it with them."

He said if anybody has any information that will lead to the prosecution of any high profile person "I assure you I will do it," he said.

Source: Daily Trust (Nigeria)

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