By Sunny Odey
1. At a time when Nigerians were awaiting the list of projects executed so far by the APC and Buhari government, they decided instead to release a list of alleged treasury looters.
2. All the names on the alleged list are that of Buhari’s political opponents.
3. The names of Buhari’s associates and appointees who have been caught red handed for corrupt practices are missing from the list.
4. Some of the published names are persons who are already standing trial in different courts across the country and none of them have been convicted. Indeed some of them have been acquitted by the courts.
5. And some of the persons whose names are also listed have not been charged to any court on the allegation of looting the nation’s treasury.
6. It is therefore extremely defamatory of the government to go to press with the names of people who have never been charged in court and names of those who are undergoing trial before the courts.
7. The action of government is not only defamatory, it is also contemptuous of the courts where the trials are being conducted.
8. The government is the prosecuting party in the corruption cases before the courts, it is therefore impertinent of the same government to place the same accused persons on media trial.
9. The government has not only prejudged the guilt of the accused persons, but have inflicted them with double jeopardy.
10. Government action in publishing names of suspected looters amounts to judicial ambush, a negation and infringement of the right to fair hearing.
11. An accused person is presumed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to be innocent of a crime, until found otherwise by a competent court of law established and constituted in such a manner as to ensure and guarantee it’s impartiality.
12. The action of government clearly points to a disposition of procuring a partial trial before the courts with a predetermined outcome of a guilty verdict upon their political opponents.
13. The only reason why the government is resorting to this dirty tactics is because it has no projects on ground upon which they can draw up a list for presentation to Nigerians as their achievement over the period of three years in power.
14. It is a diversionary tactics in the run up to the 2019 elections.