Frank Serpico, once opined that the fight for justice against corruption is never easy. It never has been and never will be. It exacts a toll on ourselves, our families, our friends, and especially our children. In the end, I believe, as in my case, the price we pay, is well worth holding on to our dignity. On this note, we conclude today, our discourse on the above subject, whilst, we continue our conversation on Accord Concondiale: The Continuous Search for Nigeria’s Elusive Unity (Part 14)
QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS (Concluded)
Are the serial “discoveries” by EFCC of abandoned and orphaned monies in shops, airports, plazas, high brow apartments, forests, cemeteries, etc, not simply a case of Professor Peller’s abracadabra magic of “the more you look, the less you see”?
Do these constitute grand attempts by government to cover up its own indicted officials, thus “fighting” their corruption with sweet smelling Sasarobia perfume, whilst fighting opposition, critical voices and other Nigerians’ alleged “corruption” with pesticides, herbicides and insecticides? Is this not a classical case of double standards, massive covers-up, and grand deception of Nigerians? Do we now have two sets of laws, one separate for members of the ruling party, and another for the opposition, critical voices and other Nigerians?
Are Nigerians not already pained and humiliated enough with deaths, hunger, degradation, marginalization, disrespect, humiliation, poor infrastructures, poverty, penury, intimidation, haplessness and disillusionment, to have this constant circus foisted on them?
Before “Osbornegate”, N49m orphaned sum was “arrested” at Kaduna Airport! Then, suddenly another sum of orphaned N448m was “discovered” in an ownerless shop in Victoria Island. Who owned the plaza? Who sold there? Are there no CCTVs there? Can we see the footages of the CCTVs of all these “recoveries” please?
THE DRAMA CONTINUES TO UNFOLD
Mrs Esther Nnadi-Ogbue, erstwhile of NNPC, has allegedly threatened fire and brimstones, to blow the loudest whistle ever that will expose some Nigerians in such a way that the country will quake, if EFCC continues to persecute her. I encourage her to do so, rather than allow herself to be used as a guinea pig, a canon fodder. Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has stepped forward to claim the humongous sum, saying: “If you recollect in 2015, we said that gas turbines built by former Governor Peter Odili were sold to Sahara Energy, business partners of Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi at $319million.
That money was used to sponsor the APC for the 2015 general elections. From the date of sale of the gas turbines to May 29, 2015, the money depleted from $319million to $204,000.
What was stashed at the Ikoyi residence was part of that fund… stories that the money belongs to NIA are fake”. Wike, went spiritual about “Deux Ex Machina”, and also threatened legal action, if within seven days, the FG had not returned the money, or set up a panel of Inquiry, to investigate the incidence. PMB has.
VP Osibanjo heads it. Wike wins here. Stormy petrel and former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has emerged in the fray, stating pointedly on his twitter handle, that the $43 million belongs to Amaechi: “He owns the flat where it was found… NIA is fake news. NIA does not keep cash in Ministers’ flats”. Lere Olayinka, the cerebral spokeman for Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, says “Amaechi owns the house”, in an unfolding drama some have already termed the “AMAECHIGATE”, “NIAGATE”, or “OSBORNEGATE”.
Former Bauchi State Governor and former PDP Chairman, Adamu Muazu, while accepting that he initially built the apartments as a property developer, said he sold them through established agents and does not know who the present occupants are. Sahara Reporters finds that one Folashade, alleged spouse of Ambassador Ayodele Oke, the DG of NIA, was frequently seen at Apartment 7B, according to one of the whistle blowers, a guard of the apartment “Dash – Dash” (as it has no known owner). The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has denied ever sending bullion vans to ferry money to the apartment.
Some more questions here: What will NIA, whose clear statutory responsibilities under section 2 (2) of the National Intelligence Agencies Act, LFN, 2004, simply borders on general maintenance of security and intelligence matters of Nigeria, OUTSIDE NIGERIA (DSS is in charge of internal intelligence matters), be doing with such large sums of money allegedly deposited by the wife of its DG?
Did NIA not have offices? Were all the vaults of CBN in Abuja Headquarters and 36 states so filled to the brim that no space was left to accommodate these funds?
What happened to the famous TSA? I congratulate PMB for suspending the N250 million grass-cutting SGF, Babachir Lawal and the N15 billion ware-housing Ayodele Oke of NIA. I would say good riddance to bad rubbish; though Lawal’s own was belated. But, why appoint VP Osinbajo to head the panel probing the duo? Can he overrule his boss, PMB, who had earlier dismissed Senate’s indictment of Babachir Lawal, and given him a clean bill of health? Why is the investigation not by the usual DSS, EFCC, ICPC or the Police?
HERBERT SAMUEL MACAULAY’S UNRIVALLED ACHIEVEMENTS
Macaulay was one of the first Nigerian nationalists and for most of his life, a strong opponent of many colonial policies. As a reaction to claims by the British that they were governing with “the true interests of the natives at heart”, he wrote: “The dimensions of “the true interests of the natives at heart” are algebraically equal to the length, breadth and depth of the whiteman’s pocket.”
In 1908, he exposed European corruption in the handling of railway finances and in 1919, he argued successfully for the chiefs whose land had been forcibly acquired by the British in front of the Privy Council in London. As a result, the colonial government was forced to pay compensation to the Chiefs. Macaulay also found himself in opposition to the colonial government in three major issues that were prominent in Lagos life during 1900-1930.
The issues included the proposed water rate, selection of the Oba of Lagos and the Imam of the Lagos Central Mosque. Macaulay opposed colonial taxation to fund water supply in Lagos on the grounds of being taxation without representation.
He was a major supporter of the House of Docemo (Dosunmu) in Lagos. Largely because Lagos was not under indirect rule, the Oba of Lagos unlike many of its counterparts in other areas of the country, was stripped of many of his traditional authorities.
Macaulay supported the House of Docemo in its opposition to the water rate and colonial acquisition of Lagos lands. Macaulay’s profile in Lagos was enhanced by the Oluwa Land case. Amodu Tijani Oluwa, a traditional chief, had challenged the compulsory acquisition without compensation, of his family land in Apapa. He lost his appeal at the Supreme Court and took the case to the Privy Council in London.
Macaulay was Oluwa’s private Secretary on the trip to London. Oluwa’s case was supported by the Ilu Committee and the Oba who were interested in the protection of their family lands in Lagos.
In London, Macaulay presented himself as Oluwa’s private Secretary and as a Representative of the Oba and in the capacity, he made statements which the colonial authorities felt were inimical to their interest.
In 1920, the Eleko, Eshungbayi, was ostracized by the British because he refused to disavow allegations against the colonial authorities made by Macaulay in London.
To further his political activities, Macaulay co-founded the Nigerian Daily News, a platform he used to write opinion pieces such as “Justitia Fiat: The Moral Obligation of the British Government to the House of Docemo”.
He also wrote a piece titled “Henry Carr Must Go”.
From 1923 to 1938, he became a prominent figure in many important political issues in Lagos, including the elections into the quinquennial elections into the Legislative Council, triennial elections to the Lagos Town Council, and the Headship of the House of Docemo.
(To be continued).
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
“Those who fight corruption should be clean themselves.”(Vladimir Putin).
Hope Nigerians are reading this piece, especially “Thought for the week”, and awaiting the next breathtaking discourse of Sunday Sermon on the Mount of the Nigerian Project, by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, FCIArb.
• Follow me on twitter @ MikeozekhomeSAN
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