$2.1bn Arms: Festus Keyamo Explains Why Jonathan Might Not Be Prosecuted

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Human rights lawyer, Festus Keyamo
in an interview with Tobi Aworinde has said even though former president Jonathan
needs to be questioned and investigated in the ongoing investigations over a
$2.1bn arms procurement scam, he might eventually not be invited. Here’s the
question the human right lawyer was asked;
Some have called for former
President Goodluck Jonathan to be investigated and prosecuted for his alleged
role in the scandal. What do you think?
The issue of investigating and
prosecuting Jonathan is a complex one; it is not a straightforward issue. On
the face of it, since all of these people who are indicted, one way or the
other, were working directly with the then President Jonathan, and they all
took instructions from Jonathan, legally speaking, or like we say, ordinarily,
he should be invited, questioned and, if possible, prosecuted. But it is not as
straightforward as that. Continue…

The reason why I say it is not
straightforward is that in Jonathan’s case, there appears to be some kind of
international understanding that he should not be ridiculed. The reason being
that most African leaders in the past — I say ‘most’ because not all of them;
some of them have successfully handed over in the past when they lost election.
But most of them have developed the habit of clinging on to power even when
they lose elections. Most African leaders manipulate the electoral process to
suit themselves. They do this not only because of the peculiar reasons; they do
this because of the fear of life after power.
Therefore, the world and Africa
have always encouraged presidents who have lost elections to hand over
peacefully. And in return, there is some kind of behind-the-scene international
understanding that such African leaders should be given their pride of place in
history, so that it encourages others to toe the same line with honour when
they lose elections. In Jonathan’s case, therefore, any attempt to humiliate
him publicly will discourage other African leaders who lose elections to hand
over because they will easily refer to his case. And this may lead their
nations to unnecessary civil strike or war.

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