US expresses concern over trial of HEDA’s anti corruption icon, Suraju
By Agbana Femi
A prominent United States Senator, Patrick Joseph Leahy, has expressed grave concern over the trial of Nigeria’s leading anti-corruption crusader, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju.
His trial considered by many as trumped up continues on Monday at the Abuja High Court. Suraju is the Chairman, Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre) Nigeria’s most outstanding anti-graft group.
The US Senator who is currently acting as the President of the US Senate says his country is concerned about charges filed by the Attorney General of the federation and Minister of Justice of Nigeria, Abubaker Malami SAN, against Suraju. Leahy said the US Senate is concerned about the trial of the activist.
In his Twitter handle, U.S Senator, charged the Judiciary to uphold the rule of law and freedom of expression without fear or favour of any kind.
He said “I and others in Washington are concerned with the charges against Olanrewaju Suraju who has been a brave voice against corruption. We look to Nigeria’s judiciary to uphold the rule of law and freedom of expression,” The trial has generated global concern given HEDA’s role in exposing high-level fraud associated with Nigeria’s oil giants and their local and international collaborators.
HEDA working with international partners exposed the can of worms linked to Nigerian big men in the OPL 245. Many Nigerians believe his trial is an extension of the plot to undermine the group’s capacity to continue with the anti-corruption campaign.
The Senator urged the Nigerian Judiciary to uphold the will of the people and to meet public expectations. He urged the judiciary not to disappoint the citizens as the last hope of the common man in an environment where some persons use rare privilege or opportunities to inflict inhuman treatments on other citizens in diverse guise.
This morning before the trial began, HEDA’s Chairman Suraju who was in high spirit said his organization’s resolve to stand against every enemy of the citizens especially those in public sector who have decided to misuse and abuse the people’s mandate will not be compromised.
Suraju said “HEDA and its partners are up to the task in exposing the shenanigans of the Ministry of Justice under Mr. Abubakar Malami and the unprofessional role of the Police investigators in the matter. We shall jealously protect the civic space and rights of Nigerians to freedom of expression,”
He called on other civil society organizations and individuals in the same course to remain undaunted and auspicious in the fight, saying, “We must not let these perverse elements to take us for a ride, any individual who is poised to inflict undue pains on Nigerians must be resisted,”
Mr. Suraju who would be arraign before Justice Binta Nyako, by 9am at the Federal High Court, Abuja on Monday 24th of January, 2022, reiterated that no sadist in the country would go unexposed, he challenge the judiciary to be upright, forthright and fearless in speedy administration of Justice, no matter whose ox is gored; “All we seek is, people must do the right thing at the right time and right place for the right purpose and achieve the right results,” he added.