Investigate Yar’adua’s Death – Falana

Lagos based lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana in his reaction called for investigation into Yar’Adua’s death. “The wife and other members of the cabal who forcefully discharged him from the hospital should be tried for treason.

The foreign doctors who treated him in Aso Rock instead of a hospital should also be arrested. Moreso that they are not licensed to practice medicine in Nigeria.”

But in his reaction, President Goodluck Jonathan has declared that Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has left a vacuum with his integrity, commitment to due process and the rule of law and his deep sense of patriotism to the nation, saying he will miss him the most.

But Ibadan-based member of the inner bar, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), yesterday achoed Falana’s call and asked the Federal Government to probe the circumstances surrounding the death of former President Umaru Yar’Adua.

Akintola who described the death of Yar’Adua as a great loss to the nation also requested the Federal Government to probe all the handlers of the late president including former Justice Minister, Chief Michael Kaase Aondoakaa (SAN) for the roles they played during his ill-health.

He said Nigerians deserved to know the last moments of their president whom they voted for, what drug was administered to him last and the doctor who treated him before he gave up the ghost.

“President Yar’Adua left a good legacy. He led a good life. He left legacy of humility. He was unassuming. He was not flamboyant. He was not arrogant. And he was an epitome of humility, so to say.

“Above all, he scores very high in the areas of rule of law and resolution of Niger Delta crisis. He would be remembered by even generation yet unborn for his pioneering the efforts of the Federal Government in the area of the rule of law.

“He happened to be the first leader to thread that path. But, if I have my way, all those who surrounded him during the hours of his ill-health should be investigated.

“How comes, for instance, that foreign doctors were flown into Nigeria without the knowledge of the Federal Government? Were these foreign doctors licensed to practise in Nigeria?

“The Nigerian medical association has a regulatory body that regulates the practice of medicine in Nigeria just like any other professional body.

“Yar’Adua was not taken to government hospital not even to Aso Villa clinic. We need to know how he died. We need to know his last moments. Because he was still a public property up till the time he died. He was a property of Nigeria.

“Nigeria deserves to know who treated him last, what drug was administered on him.

“You will recall that the Acting President now Mr President never had any information about his health. And we must condemn that type of behaviour to avoid a repeat in the future. This is to ensure that every public figure knows that he or she is a public property.

“If we don’t, many of these public officers will not appreciate the importance of the offices they are holding.

“They are holding such offices in trust for us. And we are supposed to know even what they are doing in their closet.

…calls for probe
“I am, therefore, calling on the Federal Government to institute a probe into the entire gamut of illness, the processes of his hospitalization.

 “There should be an independent report from our medical experts here on all these. We have them in good number.

“The report must be able to provide answers to questions like who authourised the foreign medical practitioners who treated Yar’Adua till he died to come into the country; who gave them licence; who facilitated their movement to Nigeria and did they get work permit before they started work here?

“All these must be brought to the fore. This is because every professional across the world will know that Nigeria is not a dumping ground where you can pick your briefcase and just jump into the country and start practising.

“President Yar’Adua’s death should be probed with the entire gamut of the treatment he received. He could not appreciate his environment at the time he died. Those who made it difficult for the people to have access to their president should be made to account.

“He was not President Umaru Yar’Adua of Katsina State but of Nigeria.

“Every Nigerian has a stake in this issue. Those who surrounded him and made it difficult for Nigerians to have access to him by keeping everything that happened to him in secrecy.

“Everybody that surrounded him including the Aondoakaas of this world, the Rumas of this world, the Abba-Ajis of this world, among others.” 

In a speech after his swearing in ceremony as the substantive president of the country following Wednesday’s death of ailing President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua., President Jonathan said, he was shocked by the news of the death of his boss and friend, with whom they were elected in 2007 to govern the country.

‘My dear brothers and sisters, it is with deep sense of loss and profound sorrow that I received the news of the passing on of His Excellency, President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.   Our President passed away peacefully in the Presidential villa in Abuja yesterday evening, the 5th day of May 2010. While we submit to the will of God as a people of faith, this sad event has placed our nation in deep mourning’.

The president condole with the former first lady, Hajiya Turai and the entire Yar’Adua family, saying, “On behalf of the good people of our great Country Nigeria, I stand by our First Lady, Her Excellency Hajia Turai Yar’ Adua, the Children, our Mother, Hajia Habiba Musa Yar Adua, and the entire Yar’ Adua family and offer our heartfelt condolences on the demise of our amiable leader.

He said “President Yar’ Adua’s contribution to political development and good governance would never be forgotten”, saying that “he will therefore always occupy a pride of place in the political history of our dear Nation”.

Besides, Jonathan said Yar’Adua was a man of great personal integrity, deep devotion to God and outstanding humility, adding that “in all his public service, he displayed uncommon commitment to the peace, progress and unity of our country”.

“He has left for us a profound legacy that provides a firm foundation for Nigeria’s future. His exit has therefore created a huge vacuum in his personal contributions to the political growth and development of our nation.  I have lost not just a boss but a good friend and brother”, he said.

He added, “Having taken the oath of office in line with the Nigerian Constitution, under these very sad and unusual circumstances, I urge all fellow citizens to remain steadfast and committed to the values and aspirations of our nation, noting that “while this is a major burden on me and indeed the entire nation, we must in the midst of such great adversity continue to garner our collective efforts towards upholding the values which our departed leader represented”.

President Jonathan restated his commitment   to Good Governance, Electoral Reform and the fight against Corruption, which he promised to pursue with greater vigour.

“As I had stated time and again, we must enshrine the best standards in our democratic practice. One of the true tests would be to ensure that all votes count and are counted in the upcoming General Elections. Similarly the effort at ensuring the sustenance of peace and development in the Niger Delta as well as the security of life and property around the entire country would be of top most priority in the remaining period of this administration.

Jonathan assured Nigerians, “that the pledges which we had made to improve the socio-economic situation which we face through improved access to electricity, water, education, health facilities and other social amenities would continue to be given the needed emphasis. The welfare of our teeming workers and the unemployed youths would also be accorded a new impetus”.

He called on all Nigerians to pray for the repose of the soul of Yar’Adua and for God to grant him eternal peace. 

In what he called an interim statement, Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka said: “What passes for the Nigerian nation is nothing more than a tragic arena and Yar’Adua is only the latest tragic figure. The vampires, including those within his own family, turned him into a mere inert resource for their diabolical schemes. 

“They have a reckoning with their conscience, assuming they know what the world means. One can only hope that, while mouthing sanctimonious platitudes such as ‘power belongs to God,’ they have now learnt that the politics of Do-or-Die cannot guarantee who does and who dies. They must stop playing God.

“I pray for the repose of the soul of their latest, much abused, innocent victim.”