Mr. Bello Adoke, the former Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), has explained how he resisted pressure from certain undisclosed individuals to charge Muhammadu Buhari, who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), for forgery during the 2015 presidential election build up.
He also added that he rejected demands for President Goodluck Jonathan to constitute an interim government in the run up to the 2015 elections.
He however noted that he rejected and dismissed the suggestion after weighing the consequences of such move.
“It is true that some people came to me and said Buhari should be disqualified because of certificate forgery,” Mr. Adoke told The Cable in a recent interview. “As a man with fidelity to the Constitution, I dismissed the suggestion quickly.”
“In fact, there were cases in court which I felt were not necessary.
“They were already becoming a security threat.
“As a responsible attorney-general, I believed we did not need further crisis in the country.
“Boko Haram was enough problem for us. I resisted pressures to compound the security challenges in the country by filing or authorising such cases to be filed on behalf of the government.
“I was not doing President Muhammadu Buhari any favour, I must say that. I was being faithful to the laws of the land. That was the duty expected of me. If you call that sympathy, so be it. But I didn’t do him a favour,” Mr. Adoke said.
Adoke noted that he did not yield to pressure because he could not see a reasonable case of forgery against Buhari at the time.
“There was pressure to issue a fiat to charge him to court for forgery. But I made my position very clear that I could not see any forgery at all.
“The law did not require you to submit any certificate to INEC and Buhari did not submit any certificate.
“The law only said you must have a minimum qualification of so so and so.
“Therefore, where was the forgery? If he didn’t submit a certificate, where was forgery? There is no police report, no investigation. No responsible attorney-general will issue any such fiat based on the record before me.
“But I could have been reckless if I wanted to be reckless. I could have been irresponsible if I wanted to be irresponsible. I could have issued the fiat,” Mr. Adoke said.
“There could have been mayhem. There could have been destruction. That could have led to the postponement of the elections.
“I know what attorneys-general have done in the past, not minding the consequences for the polity. I know what they are capable of doing. But I am a constitutional purist.
“When they mooted the idea of an interim government, I was the one that came out to say the concept of interim government is unknown to law.
“People told President Jonathan that I was disloyal, that I was working for Buhari,” he stated.