Banire, EFCC and Due Process

Banire, EFCC and Due Process

National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress, Dr. Muiz Banire is a worthy example in promising leadership, writes Ade Shoyebo

It is a common saying that no one is above the law. For thoughtful Nigerians, the relationship of the law enforcement agencies to the citizens of the land ought to be a matter of major concern. In a civilised society, when a citizen is suspected to have committed a crime, the law enforcement agency will commence investigation stretching their investigative network widely. But the moment those interrogated were found to be innocent, they quickly discharged the suspect(s) and set them free from prosecution.

Everyone knows that great uneasiness existed a couple of weeks ago in respect of EFCC’s interrogation of Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN), who voluntarily approached the EFCC office having read an allegation from an online social media that he bribed a judge of the National Industrial Court (NIC), Justice Agbeda James Fishim. Language had been held also that about 50 lawyers including over 10 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) were involved in the solicitation of cash gift by the so-called Judge.

In Dr. Banire’s case, while admitting he gave the said judge a gift of N500,000 in 2013, in response to a request from the judge for financial assistance towards his mother’s burial ceremony, he also clarified in his statement that he never appeared before this said judge either as a lawyer or a litigant.

Dr. Muiz Banire, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, the National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress and National Convener of United Action for Change, an NGO, is a strong advocate of anti-corruption campaign and will never indulge himself in any illegal act whatsoever.

Law and order on the other hand was discussed to a fare-thee-well in one of the NGO (UAC) round table conference held recently and which was widely publicised. A precipicious rise in the corruption rate and the accompany fear of crime, which had become so infectious that President Muhammadu Buhari described it as “a public malady” provided a ready opportunity for demagoguery. It was not lost. Dr. Muiz Banire’s UAC entire campaign was based on the issue and so was a large part of the APC-led federal government.

By the time the EFCC commenced the anti-corruption war in recent time, the contention had created in some Nigerians more fear of crime than crime itself, because they interpreted the fervent cry for law and order, without an equally fervent cry for justice, as heralding a move towards repression and tyranny.

In their view, once the people were sufficiently aroused over the threat of being engulfed by criminality and public disorders they might be persuaded to set aside their own constitutional safeguards as the only way to preserve society, and thereby utterly destroy it.

For those who know Dr. Banire well, they will testify that he is an example of the psychologically mature man, extremely generous and thoroughly integrated round the highest relationship possible to man – always rendering moral and financial assistances to whosoever sought for same from him, be his colleagues, associations, students – many who are today benefitting from his scholarship largess, or clubs, religious bodies and humanity in general.

He knows too that doing good and preaching the truth will always attract persecution, but he is always sure that the blood of those he told the truth will not be demanded from him. The interesting part of this is the amazingly practical way his guidance works out.
If a man’s life is thoroughly integrated in God, he finds a dominant purpose in which everything fits. It does not mean rigidity, but being so flexible as to be responsive to unexpected opportunities giving further opportunities to serve God and mankind.

Dr. Banire is perfectly disciplined. He does not wander voluntarily in his spiritual life. He goes direct to the source all the time and expects the source to come directly to him. Whatever he does, he feels must be right, since he is doing what is the guided thing for him to do.

Dr. Muiz Banire has demonstrated through his action and reaction to this so-called bribery investigation and given example that citizens need not wait for invitation when one’s name is mentioned on an allegation of an unlawful deed before making a clarification to assist the investigators. In this case, he went through all protocol available to all people and didn’t protest. He did not attribute this to witch-hunting as may be said by some people.

The most outstanding of this act was when he went further than most modern minds are willing to follow him and wrote the National Chairman of his party, All Progressives Congress (APC) and offered to step aside on moral grounds from his position as the Party’s National Legal Adviser until investigation into the allegation is concluded, which is unprecedented. A template that is foreign or unknown in Africa. Similar letter was sent to the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) about his decision to step aside, from the Electoral Reform Committee.

As a Senior Advocate, Dr. Banire, I believe, knows what our constitution allows in the 5th schedule part 1 of the Constitution Rule 6 (3) that a Public Officer shall only accept personal gifts or benefits from relatives or personal friends to such extent and on such occasions as are recognised by customs.

The effectiveness of any law, however, is the moral or physical sanction which underlies it. Physical sanctions are the common and prevailing means of law enforcement in view of the frailties of human nature. It is the physical might of government which prevents crime and protects the individual in the enjoyment of his natural rights and liberties. Moral sanctions are those imposed by an individual upon himself and depend on his sense of justice and duty to do what is right.

If all citizens, particularly those holding important positions in our society were moral and responsive to moral sensibilities as demonstrated by Dr. Muiz Banire, there might be something to the cry, “Follow Due Process” which has now attested to integrity and honour of Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN).

Every impulse of feeling is always guided by reason, and in this writer’s own opinion and as one of the beneficiaries of Dr. Muiz Banire’s generosity, I would like to conclude this article by pleading that exertion should be in proportion to what is required. The EFCC should do the needful, follow due process and let Dr. Banire off the hook in the interest of justice.

-Shoyebo Ade, an author and publisher, wrote from Lagos


follow us on twitter @aljazirahnewsng
Like us on Facebook @aljazirahnewsng

Share This:

Related Posts

FRSC marshal killed, two others abducted The Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, has confirmed the killing of one of its marshals by suspected armed kidnappers on the Abuja-Kaduna highway. Sources had earlier told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, that the attack occurred on Tuesday at Sabo-Wuse Area on the Niger axis of the highway. NAN...
No LG in Nigeria is under Boko Haram control – Presidency Shehu Garba, the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, has stated that no local government in Nigeria is at the moment under the control of the Boko Haram foot soldier. Shehu said, after successfully chasing the terrorists from their hideouts in the north ...
AIT journalist, pregnant wife, 3 kids perish in car crash The journalists community in Kogi State is in shock over the saddening incident of the death of one of its own that died in road crash with his pregnant wife and three children. Mr. Abdullahi Ibrahim was a senior reporter with the African Independent Television (AIT) Ibrahim was travelling to his ho...
Iranian President declares end of Islamic State Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared the end of Islamic State on Tuesday while a senior military commander thanked the “thousands of martyrs” killed in operations organized by Iran to defeat the militant group in Syria and Iraq. “Today with God’s guidance and the resistance of people in th...
Beyonce is 2017’s highest-paid woman in music Beyonce’s hit album “Lemonade” and world tour made her the highest-paid woman in music in 2017, according to an annual Forbes list on Monday. The Pop Diva edged out Britain’s Adele and pop star Taylor Swift. The R&B singer earned some 105 million dollars from record sales and from her “Formati...
After welcoming his 3rd Son, Wizkid announces ‘more ba... Get Ready wannabe babymamas, Its time to Make some babies for the Starboy.. Just When we thought 3 might just be enough for Him, looks like he just started, Wizkid has just embarked on Babymaking spree, hours after he announced the name of his 3rd Zion Ayo Balogun the singer has just sent green card...
N2.1bn Fraud: Maina challenges EFCC to an open debate, says ... Abdulrasheed Maina, the former Chairman of the Presidential Pension Reform Board, has challenged the Economic Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to an open debate over allegations that he swindled the people of Nigeria of N2.1bn. Maina is currently on the run and is wanted by the EFCC. “Let’...
Police invite Burna Boy for questioning over robbery attack Damini Ogulu, a dancehall artiste better known as Burna Boy, has been accused of being complicit in a recent robbery attack on his colleague, Mr 2Kay. The singer had said he was robbed in room 847 on the eighth floor of EKO Hotel & Suites during the Buckwyld & Breathless concert. Mr 2K...
What I will do if elected PDP chairman – Dokpesi The founder of Daar Communications, Raymond Dokpesi, says he is ready to enforce the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Constitution and implement various reports aimed at repositioning the party, if elected its national chairman. Mr. Dokpesi made the pledge during his national chairmanship campaign ...
What is the worth of a Nigerian migrant’s life? In April, a former Nigerian public official lost his daughter under questionable circumstances. The young lady’s death was avoidable, and who knows, maybe her spirit is already haunting a UK hospital and another one in Nigeria. A hospital in Birmingham misdiagnosed her condition; the one in Nigeria ...
Paul blames Peter for their break up Paul Okoye, has again blamed his twin brother, Peter, for Psquare’s break up. Paul stated this while performing solo during Sunday night’s Phynofest music carnival at ‘The Cathedral’, Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Enugu. The convener of the show and rap king, Phyno, had after performing his popular duet ...
Saraki, South-east Governors, Ekwesili, others mourn Ekwueme Many Nigerians have been reacting to the death of Nigeria’s former Vice President, Alex Ekwueme, with some paying their tributes via social media. The news of his death was confirmed by his brother and traditional ruler of Oko in Anambra State, Laz Ekwueme. According to him, Mr. Ekwueme died o...
PDP candidate rejects Anambra election result Oseloka Obaze, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has rejected the result of Saturday’s governorship election in Anambra. Mr. Obaze, in a statement on Sunday, said the result as released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not reflect what happened in the...