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Okonjo-Iweala Describes Falana’s Letter to ICC as ‘Misadventure’


Immediate past Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has lashed out at Lagos human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), for calling for her prosecution for crimes against humanity, describing the attempt as ”misadventure’ and ‘malicious’
Falana in a letter to the International Criminal Court (ICC), had called on the body to commence investigation into past and serving military and civilian Nigerian officials, indicted in the ongoing investigation into the diversion of billions of money meant for purchase of arms to fight Boko Haram.
Falana had written: “The failure of a former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to prevent widespread and systematic corruption including the re-looting of the Abacha loot amounts to complicity under the Rome Statute, and therefore fits the legal requirements of a crime against humanity.”
In her reaction Monday, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala dismissed the call as a “desperate joke by an integrity challenged charlatan”.
“The malicious attempt by Lagos Lawyer, Femi Falana to mix Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala up in issues that have nothing to do with her in his letter to the International Criminal Court (ICC) is a desperate joke by an integrity challenged charlatan (ICC).
“This misadventure shows that the so-called learned lawyer does not have any idea of what the mandate of the ICC is about.
“He has resorted to this action because his previous efforts to tarnish her name – through his discredited NGO, SERAP and petitions to the EFCC – failed because they were lacking in credibility.
“This latest effort to try to attach her name falsely confirms that Femi Falana is nothing but a tool of corrupt elements whose interests were hurt by the work Dr. Okonjo-Iweala did in fighting corruption while she was in office.
“These elements have now made a habit of making false allegations against Dr Okonjo-Iweala whenever she receives any national or international recognition for her work. The pattern is clear and Nigerians should be alert to it. But Dr Okonjo-Iweala will not be intimidated from going on with her life and performing her duties. She will not give in to cowardly and unmanly bullying.
“Falana’s latest attempt to implicate Dr Okonjo-Iweala falsely suggests that he is suffering from an ailment that may be described as Chronic Cerebral Amnesia (CCA) because he simply has no grasp of the facts”, the statement said.
The statement further that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has absolutely nothing to do with the alleged misuse of $2.1billion by the office of the former National Security Adviser, adding that Okonjo-Iweala sought and received the approval of former President Jonathan for the release of part of the newly returned Abacha funds to the NSA for purchase of arms is totally separate from the $2.1 billion issue.
“The memo which is now in the public domain speaks for itself. The release of the resources was in response to an approval by the former President following a meeting chaired by him after a committee had considered the request.
“The memo clearly documented Dr Okonjo-Iweala’s insistence that the proper procedure be followed, subject to appropriation and according to financial regulations. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala went further to state that the former NSA should account for the funds to the former President since she is not a member of the Security Council. The attempt to link Okonjo-Iweala to the $2.1billion issue is therefore dead on arrival”, it said.
Concluding, the statement stated that Falana’s attempt to implicate Okonjo-Iweala falsely, is a disservice to law, justice and the image of the country. “It is sad that a person who had earned some prominence as a human rights lawyer now tramples on the human rights of others as a political jobber.
“He and his sponsors are engaged in nothing but media harassment, cyber bullying and intimidation against innocent persons like Dr Okonjo-Iweala for political and pecuniary gain. “That is why Nigerians should not give in to Falana’s self-imposed Chronic Cerebral Amnesia (CCA


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