THE Nigerian Civil Society Network Against Corruption chairman Olanrewaju Suraju is a hired gun who has been imported to undermine the country’s judiciary and fracture the warm diplomatic relations Zambia has been enjoying with Nigeria, Shiwang’andu member of Parliament Stephen Kampyongo has charged.
Mr Suraju has said his ngo was considering approaching the african court of justice through the African Union to take interest into oil corruption allegations.
And the International Institute of Democracy and Conflict Resolution (IIDCR) has written to the Nigerian High Commissioner to Zambia to complain about Suraju, who has contemptuously been commenting on former president Rupiah Banda’s ongoing cases in the courts of law.
Mr Kampyongo, who is deputy minister in the Office of the Vice-President, said Zambia had enough well-trained legal brains that could guide how former president Banda’s cases could proceed and did not need the services of hired mercenaries from Nigeria to contemptuously undermine the country’s judicial system.
Mr Kampyongo said Zambia had competent lawyers who could help in the fight against corruption and that Mr Suraju should understand his legal jurisdictional limits before being used by newspapers whose agenda was to crucify former president Banda even before the court could rule in the matter.
He told the Daily Nation that it was unacceptable for the Nigerians to impute that Zambia was a corrupt country when the West African country was experiencing its own challenges in fighting the scourge.
He advised Mr Saraju to concentrate his efforts on advising the Nigerian government on how best to combat corruption in that country because Zambia was able to handle its own corruption cases without the involvement of foreign NGOs whose agenda was not known.
Mr Kampyongo said Mr Suraju’s actions were tantamount to inferfing in the internal affairs of the country and that such behaviour should not be tolerated because it had the potential to soil the diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“Zambia has enough and well-trained legal brains which are able to guide Government how best to fight corruption. The man from Nigeria masquerading as a champion in the fight against corruption is just a hired mercenary of the some newspaper whose agenda is to crucify former president Rupiah Banda. Let him know that we do not need him and it is unacceptable that he should be allowed to contemptuously ridicule and undermine our judicial system. If he is serious, let him, come and he will be arrested for contempt,” Mr Kampyongo said.
And IIDRC president Tresford Chomba said Nigeria should stop its citizens from meddling in other countries’ affairs because such actions bordered on diplomatic breaches.
Mr Chomba told the Daily Nation in a statement that his orgainisation was disappointed in the manner some Nigerian nationals such as Mr Suraju had exhibited the highest levels of impunity against Zambian laws by his continued attacks against Mr Banda.
Mr Chomba said Mr Suraju had demonstrated high levels of compromised international relations and biasness in the manner he had misrepresented his orgainisation.
“The civil society organisation Mr Suraju is representing is purely Nigerian and its jurisdiction is within the territory of Nigerian sovereign state and cannot therefore and without accreditation or the blessings of the African Union (AU) or any other recognized Charter to involve itself in matters that pertain to Sovereign state. This is purely a breach of International Relations that your good country enjoys with Zambia and other countries,” Mr Chomba said.
He said former president Banda matters were in court and it was therefore contemptuous for anyone to comment or publish any information under section 116 chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
Mr Chomba said Mr Suraju had with impunity continued broken the Zambian laws and that his organisation would demand his arrest if he was going to set foot on the Zambian soil.