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How ex-Attorney-General rejected bribes from foreign contractor, senior lawyer – Osinbajo

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The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has revealed how a foreign contractor and a senior Nigerian lawyer (name withheld) attempted to bribe a former Judge of the International Criminal Court, Bola Ajibola.

Ajibola, also a former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, had appointed Mr Osinbajo as a special adviser at the age of 30.

The vice president made this revelation in Abeokuta, Ogun State while delivering the Centenary Lecture of Baptist Boys’ High School (BBHS) on Thursday.

Osinbajo who spoke on the topic “Values: the difference between Success and Failure,” said an ethical revolution is necessary to fast-track Nigeria’s development.
Extolling the values of BBHS products, he listed the first Premier of the defunct Western Region, Obafemi Awolowo, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the presumed winner of the 1993 presidential election, Moshood Abiola, as great exhibitors of the good values they imbibed at the school.

Speaking about one of his examples of great values who are also products of the BBHS, Mr Osinbajo also extolled the values of his former boss, Mr Ajibola.

He said his first experience working with Mr Ajibola was in a case of “a foreign contractor who had won a very lucrative contract from the federal government and went to give Prince Ajibola’s son who was in the university in England, a brand new Golf car. His son then contacted his father and this made Prince Ajibola so angry to the extent that I had to calm him down physically.

“Not only was the gift returned but the conduct of the man was reported to the government of his country and that government made a special apology to our own government and to Prince Bola Ajibola. I can also remember that the man in question also came to the ministry to apologise to the Attorney-General.

” The second incident was the case of a commercial aircraft arrested in Nigeria for carrying drugs. The Office of the Attorney-General was, of course, responsible for ensuring the arrest. A very successful lawyer whose name I must not mention claimed to be acting as an intermediary for an interested party somehow connected to the aircraft and they came to Prince Bola Ajibola to offer him some bribe in foreign exchange. When I recall how Prince Ajibola shouted at the senior lawyer and ordered him out of his office, I still remember the shame and fear on the face of the man.

“Those are just two out of many that show that public service is public service and bribes or ‘thank you’ are totally unacceptable.”

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