The war of words between former Minister of Finance/Coordinating Minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala and Lagos Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has seemingly become more interesting as the legal luminary has replied the former minister.
Falana in his reply has described Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s response as baseless and laughable, saying he would only respond to her diversionary allegations rather than exchange vulgar abuses with her, because Iweala’s service to Nigeria was characterized by lies and deceit.
Her baseless attack is not unusual as she is always quick to deflect criticisms by accusing anyone seeking to hold her to account for her appalling records in government of ulterior political motives.
When former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, alleged that about N30 trillion could not be accounted for under her watch, he was described as ‘an embittered loser in the Nigerian political space.
When Governor Adams Oshiomhole questioned the illegal withdrawal of $2bn from the Excess Crude Account, he was accused of having animus towards her because she had blocked Edo State from obtaining a loan.
Therefore, instead of exchanging vulgar abuses with the former minister, I shall respond to the diversionary allegations which lacerated her response and the attempt to extricate herself from the mass looting of the commonwealth under her watch,” Falana said.
He warned her to “stop giving the erroneous impression that she rendered selfless service” to Nigeria since her salaries and allowances were paid in dollars despite a judgment of the court of appeal declaring the payment illegal and unconstitutional.
For having the temerity to request the ICC to investigate the crimes against humanity committed by some former public officers who bear full responsibility for the atrocities perpetrated by the terrorist group Dr. Okonjo-Iweala resorted to the scurrilous attack of my person.
The most ludicrous of Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala sweeping and jejune allegation is that some ‘corrupt elements’ are using me as a tool. Although the allegation is without factual support it is illogical, to say the least.
’The claim that I am unfamiliar with the mandate of the ICC shows that Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala has not been following the practice of the court and its active and robust approach to its mandates, in particular with regards to the investigation of crimes in Darfur, the warrant of arrest for Joseph Kony (Uganda), and the warrant of arrest for Ahmad Harun (Sudan).
Finally, let me make it abundantly clear that my petitions to the anti-graft agencies and the Special Prosecutor of the ICC were anchored on law and facts as there is nothing personal in the ongoing battle to end impunity and retrieve the looted wealth of the nation from corrupt elements and institutions.
It is my belief that the recovered loot should be channeled towards job creation and infrastructural development. Therefore, all hands should be on deck to ensure that the recovered loot is not criminally diverted by another set of looters,” he said.
Just a few days ago, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, in a statement by her media adviser, Paul Nwabuikwu, was reported to have attacked Falana for his petition to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Sunday, in which he asked the court to prosecute and arrest Okonjo-Iweala for failing to “prevent systematic and widespread corruption” in the previous administration, to which she called him “an integrity challenged charlatan,” absolving herself of an involvement in the $2.1 billion arms deal.