7th June, 2011
Mixed reactions on Monday trailed the arrest of the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, by the EFCC.
While some Nigerians urged the commission to arrest and investigate other lawmakers, others described the arrest as a charade.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the EFCC on Sunday, arrested Bankole in Abuja.
The former Speaker was arrested over series of allegations bordering on mismanagement of funds belonging to the lower chamber of the National Assembly.
In his reaction, Human Rights Lawyer, Mr. Bamidele Aturu told NAN that the EFCC should ensure thorough investigation, regarding the National Assembly.
â€œThe arrest should not stop with the former Speaker, every member of the National Assembly in the last dispensation should be investigated and those found culpable must be brought to book,â€ Aturu said.
Aturu described Bankoleâ€™s arrest as â€œembarrassing to the nation, morally indefensible and legally untenable.
â€œBankole occupied a moral position in Nigeria. He was morally and legally bound to submit himself to the EFCC for questioning rather than trying to resist it,â€ he said.
The human rights lawyer, however, commended the EFCC for once again showing that nobody was above the law in Nigeria.
The Chairman of the National Action Council (NAC), Dr. Olapade Agoro, urged the EFCC â€œto ensure that a good job was made of Bankoleâ€™s arrest.â€
Agoro said that â€œthe conduct of the Speaker prior to the arrest was a disgrace to the youths of Nigeria.
â€œIt becomes more saddening that a young man who earns over N100 million per quarter should have his name tainted in any form of financial allegations.
â€œEven the allegations against Mrs. Patricia Etteh who was disgraced out of office as Speaker was a childâ€™s play, compared to the current allegations emanating from the House,â€ he said.
He said that the EFCC must pursue the arrest and that of other members of the House, including the Senate in the last dispensation to logical conclusions.
â€œThe final arrest of Bankole is highly encouraging because it at least puts paid to the belief and wrong assumption in some quarters that some Nigerians are above the law,â€ he further said.
The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) said that the arrest should not end as a mere fanfare.
The South West Secretary of the CNPP, Mr. Austin Nnorom, told NAN that justice must be seen to have been carried out by the EFCC on the allegations.
â€œIf the former Speaker is to be acquitted of the allegations, Nigerians must be shown proof of his innocence and vice-versa,â€ he said.
However, the Coalition of Oodua Self-Determination Groups (COOSEG), says the EFCC is playing on the emotion of Nigerians with the arrest.