Law News
…No, you’re wrong, Sagay, Ali tell military

A prominent constitutional lawyer, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN) and the Chairman, Anti-Corruption Commission, Mallam Yusuf Ali (SAN), have differed with the Defence Headquarters that a former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is an embarrassment to the military.

In separate telephone interviews with our correspondent in Ilorin on Monday, the legal luminaries said the former President “is a well respected Nigerian elder statesman who has contributed immensely to the development of the military and Nigeria as whole.”

They expressed shock and surprise over such comment on Obasanjo from the DHQ.

Sagay said Obasanjo’s comment was to reposition the military on the right path of professionalism and to save it from being seen as a partisan army.

He stated that the military should have addressed issues raised by Obasanjo instead of vilifying him in such a derogatory manner.

“Obasanjo is not an embarrassment to the military. He is a distinguished and eminent Nigerian leader who has contributed a lot to national development, including the military. He raised valid issues in his comment. The Ekiti issue is still a current matter and the military wrote a letter to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, that the army cannot guarantee security during the February 14 and 28 general elections,which Jega cited as the reason for the postponement of the general elections.

“Obasanjo’s comment was to steer the military aright. He should not have been described as an embarrassment. How is he an embarrassment? A former Head of State and a former President of this country! I am shocked at such a comment.”

Ali added, “Obasanjo is not only a prominent and well-respected Nigerian leader but an international figure.”

He stated that Obasanjo had contributed immensely to Nigeria’s development including the military.

He disagreed with the DHQ that Obasanjo is an embarrassment to the military.

According to him, those who described Obasanjo as an embarrassment could still be young officers when Obasanjo retired as a Head of State of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

Ali said, “I do not agree with that description. How can Obasanjo who was the Head of State and contributed greatly to the growth of the military be described as an embarrassment? How can you refer to someone who after about 20 years of being the Head of State became the President of Nigeria for eight years as an embarrassment? It is not a right description. I disagree with that.”

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