From: WOLE BALOGUN, Ado-Ekiti

Legal    icon and rights activist, Femi Falana, on Monday, dismissed insinuations that he wanted to contest the 2018 Ekiti gubernatorial election next year, saying that it was ridiculous and demeaning for anyone to be linking him with people eyeing the Ekiti State Government House, saying such position was too provincial for his caliber of person, when put into consideration, his array of accomplishments across the length and breadth of the globe.

the Lagos-based lawyer, also advised the Federal Government to urgently adopt new strategies in fighting corruption, says stolen monies stashed in banks bigger than those in private houses, noting that there is a need to spread the anti-graft tentacles to the activities of certain agencies of government, usually regarded as ” money spinning.”

He said government needed to adopt new strategies regarding its whistle-blowing policy, in such a manner that it would not be limited to exposing places where questionable monies belonging to the public are hidden, but also include exposing documents capable of leading to tracking of non- liquid cash kept in various financial unstitutions in Nigeria and abroad

Falana made the call in Ilawe-Ekiti, in Ekiti South West Local Government Area of the state,  saying that government would be shocked to discover that what is contained in the private pockets of chief executives of such establishments are more than the billions being  currently unearthed in some rooms and apartments across the country.

He added that doing so would also further give credibility to the corruption fight  of the present government as well as help expose  those he referred to as ncurably hardened than the conventional armed robbers.

He particularly asked President Muhammadu Buhari to beam his searchlight on a most recent report of the Nigerian Extractive Industry Initiative, (NEITI) which he said gave shocking revelations about certain alleged reckless financial transactions, running into billions of dollars, carried out in some of t, she agencies of government that had links with oil and gas exploration

The former President of the West African Bar Association, (WABA) however cautioned the government against seeking capital punishment for whoever is found guilty of any criminal offence in the country.

According to him, certain sections of the Nigerian constitution as well as international conventions to which Nigeria was signatory no longer support capital punishments such as death sentences and torture, no matter the height of crime committed.

He said at present, the worst that any government could do to any criminal for that matter was to send him to life jail and confiscate all property suspected to be proceeds of the nature of crime so committed

Falana reiterated his appeal to the federal government not to execute solders found guilty of one offence or the other, such as alleged cowardly act or abscond in the course of fighting insurgency in he North East.

He said there wad no way the convicted soldiers could have done better if people that were given money to procure arms and ammunition had not diverted huge money meant for the procurement of arms into private pockets

“I make bold to say there is no crime that is as heinous as diverting monies meant for the procurement of arms for use by troops fighting enemies of the nation, or monies meant for construction of roads or building of hospitals

“This is because those who will die as a result os such deliberate acts of wickedness will be more than those killed by highway robbers and insurgents”, he said.

On the next year’s Ekiti governorship election, Falana denied insinuations in some quarters that he was planning to contest the election.