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Buhari’s anti-corruption war now clogged

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Buhari’s anti-corruption war now clogged

 

“Failing to indict a criminal, sitting President sends the message that those in power are above the law.”

– DaShanne Stokes

 

Whenever a bone is thrown to a dog and it walks away, the owner should be worried that something very serious is happening to the dog. The nation’s antigraft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been everywhere combing in search of stolen money and those involved in corrupt practices.

The commission even hired some people it called whistle blowers to help them track missing funds. But since a distinguished Senator Isah Misau from the ruling party made his grave allegation against the Inspector- General of Police Ibrahim Idris, the government and the commission have all pretended as if it’s news from yonder.

Imagine what would have happened if such allegation had been on somebody in opposition. We recall how a fake whistle blower made government operatives to break into the home of a Deputy Senate President in search of money and weapons which they never saw only to realise that the blower was a fake.

But here we are a serving Senator and a former Police officer publicly raising such allegation but everybody is trying to feign ignorance so that it would die just like that. It is for this type of scenario that prompted some anti-corruption watchers to argue that the anti-corruption fight of this administration has since collapsed. The people holding this view might be relying on some empirical evidences.

And when they go further to insist that in spirit and in principle that it’s only the President that is really committed to the war, they may not be too far from the truth also. The administration has always attributed the shortfalls in the anti-graft war to what they termed corruption fighting back but they refuse to acknowledge the fact that it is indeed the king’s aides that have provided ground for corruption to flourish.

The President’s men appear to have made themselves a willing tool for corruption to fight back. Truth is that President Buhari’s incorruptible image which indeed earned him electoral victory in 2015 has been on steady decline since he took over.

In fact the President’s situation with regard to the anti-corruption war is akin to a well-known father in a village who does not tolerate nonsense and is willing to punish any offender but each time nonsense happens his children would either be involved or they are working to dissuade him from punishing the offenders.

Oftentimes they take advantage of their being insiders to destroy evidence. Similarly, Buhari’s role in the anti-corruption fight now is likened to a local king who banished the use of knock out during festivity in his kingdom and went further to order the arrest of anybody who breaks the rule.

The King’s decree became necessary following the damage knock out users cause during festivals. But the following day when they came to the king to report situation of some arrests of those who disregarded his order he directed that they be brought to the palace.

To his shock two of the five in custody happened to be his children, in anger he directed that the law should take its course but members of the king’s palace themselves also who have their children in custody then began the destruction of evidence. Whenever the King asks for progress report they would say it’s the court and lawyers that are delaying and frustrating the case. They would not tell the king that it’s their deliberate distortion of facts that has weakened the case in court.

The ongoing ballet between the Inspector General of Police and Senator Misau is just the latest of bean spilling by associates of this administration that is encouraged to die down because those involved are palace boys.

The reluctance of this administration to tackle corrupt persons within the system has more than any other variables helped to frustrate the anti-corruption mission of Buhari government. Senator Misau, a member of the ruling party, the APC, opened a very strong corruption allegation against the Inspector General of Police but the government is pretending not to have heard such grave bribery matter.

This is not the first time corruption matter is coming from within the ruling party and the government but they always look away while chasing the opposition at the slightest information.

A government that had broken the houses of Justices and Judges as well the homes of Senators on whistle blowing tips has remained mute at such grave bribery allegation against the IG. We are all watching as Police is trying to divert attention by saying that the Senator is on AWOL from the force, a crime they just discovered after the man accused him of bribery.

This administration has been dragging PDP and its members on the floor over corruption but when faced with similar challenge under IG Tafa Balogun the opposition regime publicly disgraced him out of office. But for this government they don’t believe that a member of the system should be stressed. It’s for cases like this that prompted Noam Chomsky to say that: “For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.”

When put the other way, for this administration, corruption crimes are those PDP and non-APC members commit. For instance, when the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. TY Buratai was accused of having two property in Dubai, the government looked away as he defended himself with ridiculous excuse that they belong to his wives.

But this is a government that has been harassing Mrs. Patience Jonathan– the wife of the former President Goodluck Jonathan.

A woman who was a success in business even before her husband became a deputy governor in Bayelsa state. Again it took the roaring from Nigerians for the Secretary to the Government of the Federation David Babachir Lawal to be suspended after the Senate found him overwhelmingly enmeshed in corruption matter. Ditto the Director General of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayodele Oke who along with his wife is linked in another messy cash discovery at an apartment in Lagos.

All the corruption cases involving APC members have been accorded esprit de corps protection. In nosing for news one can easily unveil the fact that a number of the in-fighting within the ruling class all derive from the double stand in prosecuting the anticorruption battle.

The fact that the EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu cannot be confirmed today for a substantive role speaks volume especially when we recall that the Senate in rejecting him twice relied on intelligence report from a government agency that reports directly to the President who nominated him. Another incident under scoring this fact is the ongoing impasse between the antigraft agency and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

The Attorney General even openly accused the EFCC of undermining the anticorruption programme of the administration by not complying with the directive to the commission to submit list and documents involving high profile cases.

On the surface it might seem as if the AGF office is really eager to act on the document if given but the undercurrent may be showing otherwise. You can be sure that when such is submitted, names of APC members on the list would be deleted.

That all the henchmen around the President are in camps trying to undermine each other is more for selfish reason rather than any patriotic zeal.

In truth if President Buhari hopes to deliver to Nigerians his campaign promises as it relates to tackling corruption he must rejig his team with a view to bringing in more committed persons away from his obviously compromised aides. What is urgently needed now is the political will from the President to reset his government, inject more fresh blood into the system.

In the words of the activist Senator from Kaduna State, Shehu Sani, “what Mr. President needs now is to fumigate and disinfect the Presidency in the general interest of his government and also the country as a whole.”

But unfortunately the Buhari of now can no longer bite, he is caught up in the sluggish variables inherent in a democracy and further weakened by age and dwindling health condition. God help us.

Whenever a bone is thrown to a dog and it walks away, the owner should be worried that something very serious is happening to the dog. The nation’s antigraft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been everywhere combing in search of stolen money and those involved in corrupt practices.

The commission even hired some people it called whistle blowers to help them track missing funds. But since a distinguished Senator Isah Misau from the ruling party made his grave allegation against the Inspector- General of Police Ibrahim Idris, the government and the commission have all pretended as if it’s news from yonder.

Imagine what would have happened if such allegation had been on somebody in opposition. We recall how a fake whistle blower made government operatives to break into the home of a Deputy Senate President in search of money and weapons which they never saw only to realise that the blower was a fake.

But here we are a serving Senator and a former Police officer publicly raising such allegation but everybody is trying to feign ignorance so that it would die just like that. It is for this type of scenario that prompted some anti-corruption watchers to argue that the anti-corruption fight of this administration has since collapsed. The people holding this view might be relying on some empirical evidences.

And when they go further to insist that in spirit and in principle that it’s only the President that is really committed to the war, they may not be too far from the truth also. The administration has always attributed the shortfalls in the anti-graft war to what they termed corruption fighting back but they refuse to acknowledge the fact that it is indeed the king’s aides that have provided ground for corruption to flourish.

The President’s men appear to have made themselves a willing tool for corruption to fight back. Truth is that President Buhari’s incorruptible image which indeed earned him electoral victory in 2015 has been on steady decline since he took over.

In fact the President’s situation with regard to the anti-corruption war is akin to a well-known father in a village who does not tolerate nonsense and is willing to punish any offender but each time nonsense happens his children would either be involved or they are working to dissuade him from punishing the offenders.

Oftentimes they take advantage of their being insiders to destroy evidence. Similarly, Buhari’s role in the anti-corruption fight now is likened to a local king who banished the use of knock out during festivity in his kingdom and went further to order the arrest of anybody who breaks the rule.

The King’s decree became necessary following the damage knock out users cause during festivals. But the following day when they came to the king to report situation of some arrests of those who disregarded his order he directed that they be brought to the palace.

To his shock two of the five in custody happened to be his children, in anger he directed that the law should take its course but members of the king’s palace themselves also who have their children in custody then began the destruction of evidence. Whenever the King asks for progress report they would say it’s the court and lawyers that are delaying and frustrating the case. They would not tell the king that it’s their deliberate distortion of facts that has weakened the case in court.

The ongoing ballet between the Inspector General of Police and Senator Misau is just the latest of bean spilling by associates of this administration that is encouraged to die down because those involved are palace boys.

The reluctance of this administration to tackle corrupt persons within the system has more than any other variables helped to frustrate the anti-corruption mission of Buhari government. Senator Misau, a member of the ruling party, the APC, opened a very strong corruption allegation against the Inspector General of Police but the government is pretending not to have heard such grave bribery matter.

This is not the first time corruption matter is coming from within the ruling party and the government but they always look away while chasing the opposition at the slightest information.

A government that had broken the houses of Justices and Judges as well the homes of Senators on whistle blowing tips has remained mute at such grave bribery allegation against the IG. We are all watching as Police is trying to divert attention by saying that the Senator is on AWOL from the force, a crime they just discovered after the man accused him of bribery.

This administration has been dragging PDP and its members on the floor over corruption but when faced with similar challenge under IG Tafa Balogun the opposition regime publicly disgraced him out of office. But for this government they don’t believe that a member of the system should be stressed. It’s for cases like this that prompted Noam Chomsky to say that: “For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.”

When put the other way, for this administration, corruption crimes are those PDP and non-APC members commit. For instance, when the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. TY Buratai was accused of having two property in Dubai, the government looked away as he defended himself with ridiculous excuse that they belong to his wives.

But this is a government that has been harassing Mrs. Patience Jonathan– the wife of the former President Goodluck Jonathan.

A woman who was a success in business even before her husband became a deputy governor in Bayelsa state. Again it took the roaring from Nigerians for the Secretary to the Government of the Federation David Babachir Lawal to be suspended after the Senate found him overwhelmingly enmeshed in corruption matter. Ditto the Director General of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayodele Oke who along with his wife is linked in another messy cash discovery at an apartment in Lagos.

All the corruption cases involving APC members have been accorded esprit de corps protection. In nosing for news one can easily unveil the fact that a number of the in-fighting within the ruling class all derive from the double stand in prosecuting the anticorruption battle.

The fact that the EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu cannot be confirmed today for a substantive role speaks volume especially when we recall that the Senate in rejecting him twice relied on intelligence report from a government agency that reports directly to the President who nominated him. Another incident under scoring this fact is the ongoing impasse between the antigraft agency and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

The Attorney General even openly accused the EFCC of undermining the anticorruption programme of the administration by not complying with the directive to the commission to submit list and documents involving high profile cases.

On the surface it might seem as if the AGF office is really eager to act on the document if given but the undercurrent may be showing otherwise. You can be sure that when such is submitted, names of APC members on the list would be deleted.

That all the henchmen around the President are in camps trying to undermine each other is more for selfish reason rather than any patriotic zeal.

In truth if President Buhari hopes to deliver to Nigerians his campaign promises as it relates to tackling corruption he must rejig his team with a view to bringing in more committed persons away from his obviously compromised aides. What is urgently needed now is the political will from the President to reset his government, inject more fresh blood into the system.

In the words of the activist Senator from Kaduna State, Shehu Sani, “what Mr. President needs now is to fumigate and disinfect the Presidency in the general interest of his government and also the country as a whole.”

But unfortunately the Buhari of now can no longer bite, he is caught up in the sluggish variables inherent in a democracy and further weakened by age and dwindling health condition. God help us.

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