The Former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday denied the allegation that he planned to kill former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (retd.)
Obasanjo said this while hosting members of Ogun state Correspondents at his hilltop residence in Abeokuta.
The former President said, he had no reason to plot to kill Bamaiyi, adding that, the former Chief of Army Staff was arrested by law enforcement agencies in the country over his criminal acts.
Bamaiyi has accused Obasanjo in his book, “Vindication of A General” which was unveiled penultimate weekend in Abuja that he was plotting to kill him to prevent him from toppling his administration during his 1999 tenure.
Bamaiyi in his book said: “Upon handing over power to Gen. Obasanjo in May 1999, Gen. Abubakar told the new civilian President that he must rein in General Bamaiyi, else he would overthrow the new government and that from that moment, General Aliyu Gusau, the then National Security Adviser and President Obasanjo made it a duty to imprison me by all means.
“When Obasanjo took over, some PDP big shots decided that based on the report, I had control of the Army and should be arrested. The government looked for avenues to arrest me. “They started by checking Army accounts to see if I had stolen money”.
Reacting to the allegation, Obasanjo who was visibly angry when he was asked to react, said; “That I wanted to kill him? What of the people he killed? My government did not plot to kill him. My government asked him to answer to those that were alleged to have been killed by him and that is legitimate.
“That if there is an allegation that you have done something, that you have committed a crime, then you are arrested, you should answer. And that’s all. Pure and simple. Who the hell is he that I would want to kill him? Kill him for what? To achieve what? No! There were allegations, the police and the law enforcement agencies decided to look into the allegations. They invited him and they asked him to answer as a result of what was found, so they charged him to court. So, it’s now up to him and the investigators, the prosecutors and the judiciary. That’s all”.
Speaking on corruption, Obasanjo said investigation must be proper, thorough and undertaken with all seriousness.
Obasanjo said: “I was reading today when the President (Muhammadu Buhari) said the EFCC should stop losing cases. They lose cases for a number of reasons.
“One, they engage more of outside lawyers. I believe that they need staunch, `ogbologbo’(seasoned) lawyers inside that will do the work.
“If I am a lawyer and I want the opponent to win a case, what I will file will be `wishy washy’.
“And if I file a `wishy washy’ case, the opponent will see the loophole and he will get out of it. I believe that is important.
“Secondly, thorough investigation is very important. Now, investigation must be thorough, it must be proper and it must be really taken seriously.
“Third, our judges must be committed in fighting corruption.
“They must be committed to fighting corruption. Because if the investigation is very sound and you have `ogbologbo’ lawyer to handle the case, if you have Salamigate, you know what the answer will be.
“So it is a chain: investigation, prosecution and the judiciary. If there is weakness along this line, chances are that corruption cases will continue to be lost,“ he said.