Edo State Governor, Adams Aliyu Oshiomole and the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke, on Tuesday engaged each other in a war of words that almost degenerated into a physical battle right inside the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
It took the timely intervention of the President’s Chief of Staff, Chief Mike Oghiadome, and the Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State to bring the situation under control.
Governor Oshiomole and the Attorney General of the Federation had come for the Council of State meeting and were seen talking to each other before the arrival of the President who presides over the Council’s meetings. At a point, tempers suddenly rose and the two were seen pointing fingers at each other.
Street Journal gathered that the argument of the two men bordered on the way the investigation into the murder of Olaitan Oyerinde, Governor Oshiomole’s Private Secretary was handled.
Curious newsmen approached the Edo State Governor to find out what transpired and they were made to understand that while Adoke had told Governor Oshiomole that the matter, being a state matter should not have been referred to the office of the Attorney General, Oshiomole put it to him that it was the fault of the police.
Governor Oshiomole said he was infuriated because the Attorney General of the Federation does not seem to have respect for his office. He stated that the Justice Minister should have channelled his anger to the Deputy Inspector General of Police that referred the case to the federal level.
The obviously bitter Governor said “the issue is that he was saying my Attorney General should have known what to do, that he has nothing to do with the matter.
And I simply asked him who referred the matter to him? Was it my Attorney General?
The matter was referred to him by the Deputy Inspector General of Police.
And I asked him who should know better, if the Deputy Inspector General of Police refers a matter that he ought to have referred to the state, he chose to refer it to the federal Attorney General, who is the one dragging him into the matter, who is the one politicizing the matter? Should we assume that a DIG did not know that that offence of murder is a state offence? And if he knew it was a state offence why did he refer it to the federal Attorney General?”
Governor Oshiomole also said “ I told him that if he has any complaint he should complain to the DIG who referred the case to him. And of course the rest you witnessed. The point is that you know some of these guys. I am a governor. I am elected. A minister is appointed. He has to respect my office even if he doesn’t respect my person. In any event, we are dealing with a factual issue. If a case was wrongly referred to the federal attorney general by the Nigerian police, who is to blame?
In any event, we also complained that this matter ought to have been referred to Edo State DPP not federal because is a state offence, committed in Edo State.
It is like a case of a he goat when the family is happy they sacrifice the he goat to celebrate. When the child is ill, the native doctor says sacrifice the he goat so that the child will get better. So head or tail the he goat is in trouble. Here I am, my private secretary is killed, and nobody seems to bother. I am doing my best to raise the issue because that is the least I owe to someone who gave his life.
And someone else who doesn’t think life is important, for him, it is a matter to trivialize and to joke about. I always say to people today, all of us are in power, tomorrow none of us will be in power. If we leave Nigeria worse off, we will wallow in a hopeless situation. If we build it and make it safe, we will walk in freedom.”
The AGF, Mohammed Bello Adoke on the other hand said there was no reason for him to disrespect the office of a Governor. “I will not disregard his office. He is my personal friend. I have the highest respect for him. He is a governor of this country but I will not join issues with him. I did not trivialize his office and I have no reason to trivialize his office. He is at liberty as a Governor in this country to say whatever he wants to say but I will accord his office the highest respect and I will not join issues with him”, Adoke said.