Human right lawyer, Femi Falana, has denied asking President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the rule of law in fighting corruption.
The senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in a statement on Friday reacted to a 2016 interview making the rounds where Niyi Akintola, another senior lawyer, said Falana and himself rose in defence of Buhari at an event in Washington, US.
Akintola, in response to a question about the raid on the residences of judges, said all the president needed to do was to ask lawmakers to suspend the rule of law because fighting corruption requires drastic measures.
Recall that the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) had raided the residence of some judges in 2016 over alleged corruption.
“We were in Washington, DC, United States of America, and for six days, the issue of corruption in Nigeria came to the fore. It was not limited to Nigeria. Femi Falana and I stood up for our president and his modus operandi in faraway Washington. It is not that we love some of his tactics, but we thought that a severe problem requires a drastic solution.
“All our president needs to do is to go to the National Assembly, call the state Houses of Assembly, more so now that governors are telling him to declare the state of emergency on the economy. He can bring in the issue of corruption and ask that we suspend the rule of law for one year because a drastic problem requires a drastic solution and Femi Falana supported me,” Akintola was quoted in the interview.
Reacting, Falana expressed surprise, sating he never attended any meeting with Akintola in Washington.
“I was flabbergasted when my attention was drawn to this publication last year. I was compelled to dissociate myself from the views ascribed to me in the interview on the grounds that Chief Niyi Akintola SAN and I have never attended any meeting together in Washington before,” he said.
While noting that he had consistently campaigned for the defence of democracy, the rule of law and human rights in Africa for over three decades, the senior lawyer said he has never joined Chief Akintola SAN to advise the Buhari regime to put human rights in abeyance under the pretext of fighting corruption.
It could also be recalled that Falana had asked that the judges arrested should be granted bail and charged to court immediately.