Wednesday, May 21, 2008
EFCC STILL IN COMBAT
NO. No. No. I think these EFCC people are overdoing it. Don't they respect anybody? Can you see what they are doing to the General's daughter?""What are they doing to Obasanjo's daughter, please?" "They laid siege on her house in Abuja and tried to arrest her, and she had to escape through the back door""No. They said she scaled the fence and bolted away from the waiting hands of the law. They gave the impression that she ran like a frightened chicken. Did they not say they managed to arrest one of her shoes which fell off as she gathered speed like Marion Jones on an athletic dash." "That is the EFCC's version of the story. Did you see her jumping the fence? I mean does she look like the kind of lady that will scale the fence and take to her heels? I mean, this is a heavy duty lady, a Ph.D, and the daughter of one of the most important Nigerians alive today."" I see you are up to some form of mischief""I mean let us look at it this way. The EFCC must know that there are some persons in this country that they cannot just treat anyhow. A former President's daughter? Chasing her across the fence? Can you imagine American security forces chasing a distinguished former First daughter like that? ""I am listening""Those EFCC officers must realise first and foremost that the EFCC was created by President Obasanjo. If the lady's father did not set up the EFCC, all of them would still be regular policemen chasing N20 bribe all over the place and struggling to earn their salaries as and when due. Nigerians should learn to show some gratitude. And how much are we talking about, anyway?""N10 million belonging to the Nigerian people; the EFCC simply wants Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, also bearing the title of a distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic, to come and explain how public funds ended up in her pocket. She has been charged to court. She is expected to report to the EFCC and have her day in court like all citizens under the law." "She says she is being victimised. What of the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Health. Why is he not being hounded?""Are you aware that Iyabo is practically on the run and may be declared wanted by the EFCC? She has not been sighted again anywhere near the National Assembly. Even her house, I hear, has been deserted.""Because of N10 million? I don't believe that.""It is not the amount that matters. It is about the alleged offence, being a receiver of stolen funds, abuse of public office, and aiding and abetting the act of corruption I don't think the young lady knows what she is doing to herself." "Is that what she has been charged with or are you just expanding the charge list?""Wait a moment. Are you really serious about what you are saying? Because I assume that you are just being funny?""What do you think?" "I think Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello is misbehaving by playing hide and seek with the EFCC. She had promised to report to the EFCC and appear in court to respond to the charges against her. That is what she should do. That is what she should have done. Nobody is above the law" "I try to imagine how President Obasanjo will be feeling right now." "His feelings are actually not important in this matter, right now. When he was President, the General always said that there would be no sacred cows. But he ended up creating so many. His administration did not show any mercy towards those that it brought before the law. What the Yar'Adua government is doing is simply to give further effect to Obasanjo's own logic. He created the EFCC. We expect him to advise his daughter to respect due process and the laws of the land. What comes round, goes round. In nature, nothing is lost." "She is an adult, she can make up her own mind.""By running away from the EFCC, Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello is knocking the lid off one of her father's legacies. Why are the man's children disappointing him?""You think it is easy to face the law? Did you not see how one EFCC official was trying to push Professor Adenike Grange? If those EFCC officials had arrested Iyabo the day they went to her house, they could have put her in handcuffs. I don't know whether she actually jumped the fence or not, but if she did, I can understand. I don't know about you." "You don't understand. You are just ridiculing her.""How? Who am I to ridicule the daughter of a former President and a very distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic?""Listening to you, you know I just remembered some of those people that the former President used the EFCC to frighten, humiliate and embarrass, and all those people he got the state to label as thieves, and all the persons he pushed out of the Presidential race. They must all be having a good laugh now at his expense. In particular, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar must be laughing so much his ribs must be aching by now. And people like Tafa Balogun, Joshua Dariye and Diepreye Alamiyeseigha are suddenly beginning to look like victims. Even Orji Kalu's mother.""Nothing is ever straight forward in Nigeria. You should know that." "But there are serious lessons in the Obasanjo story. What is going on simply means that indeed power is transient. When you are in power people respect you, and bow and scrape before you, but the moment you no longer have authority and influence, you are treated as if you are worse than the door mat. If the EFCC had gone after President Obasanjo himself, and he proves difficult, you'd be surprised that they will push him and maltreat him." "And they will justify it on the grounds that the law does not respect anybody." "Certainly The state is all-powerful. People should always remember this. And that is why when you are in a privileged position, you should learn to be humble and careful. And it is not just in government that this is true, even in the private sector. If you are the boss in a company and you think that you are so important, the moment you lose that position, you'd be surprised that the same receptionists who used to bow before you will keep you waiting and ask you to fill the visitor's form should you show up in that company again. Who would have dared lay siege on Iyabo Obasanjo's home when she was holding court as Nigeria's First daughter?" " "To be an ex or a former whatever is a curse in Africa. They make it look like you have lost relevance. They treat you like a pest.""It is the way of the world. The day Tony Blair left office as Prime Minister of Great Britain, he went home in a train. He became a commoner instantly. And that is why people should be careful. The Obasanjo clan was not careful enough. Even in the Presidential Villa, the Obasanjo boys who are still there are being exposed as bribe takers and double agents. One of them was said to have collected $200, 000 to leak a document." "Do you know that some people who call themselves the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders also went to the National Assembly this week to campaign against former President Obasanjo and his daughter? They want the two of them to be probed by the Nigerian state. And in Ota two weeks ago, the entire Ota community rose against Obasanjo and insisted that he should leave Aworiland. Nationally, locally and even within his own family, the man is under pressure." "To be fair, sometimes I get the impression that some people out there are determined to teach former President Obasanjo a lesson. Dictators do not have an after-life It is either they die in office or they face life-long humiliation. The General offended too many people. ""But you are right, I share the view that the protection of power and office cannot be relied upon.""You can say that to former Governor Aliyu Wammako of Sokoto state.""You known when the man was removed by the Court of Appeal as Governor of Sokoto state, only last week, he was attending the wedding of the daughter of former President Ibrahim Babangida. All his aides and security details abandoned him at the party the moment they heard the news that he was no longer Governor. They drove away immediately to report for duty under the new dispensation""I read somewhere that he was the one who asked them to leave." "And you believe that? Look, the man was lucky the Governor of Niger State lent him a car. He would have gone back to Sokoto in a chartered cab. And if he didn't have money on him, he would have trekked. In fact, he could not return to Sokoto, he had to go to Abuja first. He must have had difficulties sleeping soundly that night. To be thus at one moment and to be nothing soon after is a sad fate to behold""That is why African leaders don't ever want to leave office. This is why Mugabe is holding on to the Presidential election results in Zimbabwe. This is why President Obasanjo wanted a third term in office. I think we the people are part of the problem. We tend to be nasty to the powerless.""No. People in fact respect good leaders. It is important that persons who hold positions of authority realise that the only thing that is important about them is the service that they render, not their ego and certainly not their personal fears." "But et tu Umoru? Et tu Umoru treating my daughter like this? Et tu Umoru humiliating me like this? "Et tu? Et tu? Who be dat? Who talk dat just now?" "General Obasanjo." "What can he possibly be tu-ing about?" "President Umaru Yar'Adua""Please leave that man alone. Have you not heard that he has gone back to Germany? "There is definitely a German dimension to this Presidency. But we thank God that the President is able to run the country effectively from a German hospital, thanks to technology. After all, with a phone call he managed to avert a crisis in Bayelsa state when some forces did not want the Speaker of the House of Assembly to be installed as the Acting Governor after the removal of the Governor by the Court of Appeal." "I recommend that we should set up an annexe of the Nigerian Presidential Villa in Germany. I like President Yar'Adua. I don't see any reason why he can't run Nigeria from Germany with the help of e-mail, phone calls and text messages. I mean why not?" "Yes, why not? Since in any case, there is no Nigerian hospital, no Nigerian doctor in any local hospital, not even a private hospital inside Nigeria, that can take care of the President's health.""What do you expect when those who are supposed to take care of the health sector and raise standards are busy sharing money including your sister, your very own representative in the Senate, Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello.""Make una leave my sister alone o. Hen hen. If she like make she jump fence, na exercise she been dey do." "You should advise her to go and meet the EFCC in court"" It is not your fault.. You mean if the EFCC really wants to arrest Iyabo, or the court actually wants her, they won't know how to go about it? "