Victims Of NIS Tragedy Respond To Moro’s Apology Through Their Counsel

After Leadership Newspaper published Abba Moro’s apology
over the death of some Nigerians at the just concluded NIS recruitment exercise,
the counsel to the victims deemed it fit to reply the minister through the same
newspaper stating that, Moro never apologised to the real victims and they do
not know the people he apologised to. He said the matter is already in court,
and the Minister is expected to appear on the 22nd of April,
2014 because he has been served. Below is how Leadership Newspaper reports it;

A Statement of ECULAW & CO. and the Due Process
Advocates Group
My attention has been drawn to the Leadership online news
report on Minister Abba Moro’s apology to Nigerians in respect of the recent
ill-fated immigration recruitment exercise. As Counsel to the victims, I bear
an obligation to respond on behalf of the victims to avoid the confusion over
the Minister’s so-called apology.
For a start, the Minister did not apologize to the real
victims of his scam-laden recruitment racket. Rather, the Minister apologised
to those he felt he would apologize to. Indeed, the Leadership report captured
Minister Moro’s apology accurately in the following opening words:
“The Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, on Sunday,
apologised to Nigerians over the recent botched Nigeria Immigration Service
(NIS) recruitment.”
Mr Abba Moro apologized to Nigerians at large, and he is
certainly justified in that because his actions offended every Nigerian. You
may recall that right after the incident, during the Executive Council meeting
held on Wednesday, 19th March 2014, Mr. Abba Moro apologized to his colleagues
in the President’s Cabinet and the Presidency. Those, in turn, commiserated
with and condoled the President for what happened. However, none of such
demonstrations crocodile regrets could amount to a show of remorse and true
apology to the real victims, my clients. What is happening is the continued
politicization of this tragedy by Mr. Moro and his supporters within the
In the lawsuit we filed against Mr. Moro on this matter at
the Federal High Court, Abuja, one of the reliefs we request court to grant us
is an order of the court, compelling Mr. Moro to apologize to the victims. We
also request the court to order Mr. Moro to refund the N1,000 he obtained from
each of the victims by false pretense. In the characteristic arrogance of Mr.
Moro, he does not want it to be that the court ordered him to do anything. He
thus comes up with these false measures to preempt the court and interfere with
the administration of justice. First, he and his backers in the Government offered
to refund my the victims their money just after Mr. Moro heard about our
lawsuit. But they were not serious about that gesture because they did not
state the manner and means of effecting such refund. And now, Mr. Moro is
coming up with this sham of an apology just to mock his victims further.
It is clear from the so-called apology that Moro did not
mean to apologize to anybody. Instead, he is interested in ingratiating himself
and trying to look good despite all that happened. Let’s pause for a moment and
examine Mr. Moro’s words. He said:
“I want Nigerians to understand the motive and intention
behind the entire process of an open and transparent exercise.
“This was the first of its kind in the ministry and it was
intended primarily to give employment to Nigerians, irrespective of background
and connections.’’
Nowhere in his words did Mr. Moro admit that he did anything
wrong. And that is a key element of every apology. Also, he did not show any
remorse, and he did assure the victims that he would not repeat his conduct.
Rather, Mr. Moro extols his actions as something that amounted to “an open and
transparent exercise”. He further described what he did as wanting to “give
employment to Nigerians, irrespective of background and connections.” But that
is a big lie. Otherwise, how many children of Nigerian Ministers and Senators
were among those that suffocated and were trampled upon at the various stadiums
on 15th March 2014? Mr. Moro knows that only the poor and unconnected Nigerians
were victims of this botch exercise. So, he lies in his teeth when he claims he
was out to do something for Nigerians irrespective of connections and
Mr. Moro must accept responsibility for his actions. He
should start by resigning as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Until then, all he has been doing has been a desperate effort to justify his
remaining in office as a Minister. His dishonesty and equivocations on this
matter are now as laughable as they are disturbing. He knew because that was
the group he targeted with his recruitment racket. To show Mr. Moro’s lack of
seriousness, he first blamed this tragedy on the victims. And only recently, he
rented some crowd to organize a solidarity march for him, again blaming the
tragic events on the victims and those he claimed wanted to politicize the
Whether my clients would accept Mr. Moro’s apology depends
on whether there is an apology to accept. As at this moment, Mr. Moro has not
issued an apology to them and there is thus nothing for them to accept. We have
a case that is pending in court. Mr. Moro has received notice to appear in
court and he understands that he should be in court on April 22, 2014 to
explain himself. That is the only thing on the table for the time being and
that is the only thing we are focused on now.
By: Emeka Ugwuonye, Esquire
Founder, the Due Process Advocates (DPA)

Lagos, April 6, 2014

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