“Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings” –Samuel Johnson
Sometimes you wonder if the so called Nigerian leaders ever think before they open their mouth. We learnt recently from the indicted former governor of Delta State, James Ibori that the erstwhile EFCC boss, Nuhu Ribadu approached him on a plot to unseat a certain “sick Yar’Adua” through the use of INEC! I mean INEC! The same INEC hand picked by PDP stalwart to do their bidding? Yes, indeed if it sounds incredulous, you are not dreaming, this is Ibori’s damning evidence against Ribadu.
The allegation, which is a red herring in itself, is not worth responding to, but like everything in Nigeria if you don’t you are damned. If I were Ribadu, I will simply put out a short sentence asking Ibori to simply appear in London and stop taking cover under an entrenched corrupt attorney general in Nigeria. If you have nothing to fear, face a real prosecution in London and not the contrived “make believe” currently orchestrated by your retained counsel in Federal Ministry of Justice and the “comatose” EFCC.
Here is the good thing about the allegation; it gives us a window of opportunity to the workings of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s illegitimate government in Aso rock. I have often wondered why Yar’Adua buys into everything Ibori sells. I know the latter funded his campaign for presidency, but that should not make him a lap dog of Ibori. Well it’s clearer now. We know nothing scares Nigerian rulers, be it Abacha, IBB or Obasanjo like a plot to unseat them. Even if the allegations are contrived by a self seeking corrupt security chief or ex-governor as it is in this case. Nigerian insecure rulers will buy into it and hound the accused to the gates of hell.
We saw that playbook with Abacha and Al-Mustapha contrived plot against Diya and others. We saw that with Obasanjo’s allegations against Atiku. All you need to finish your enemies in Nigeria is to accuse them of trying to overthrow an illegitimate and totally insecure marauder in power at Aso rock. All hell will then break loose, the insecurities of the rulers in Aso rock is so real that they will stoop at anything to fight whoever challenges them. In fact they don’t care if the nation burns, as we witnessed through Abacha or if they upended the democracy that brought them to power as Obasanjo did with Nigeria hard won democracy. They see treason in everyone and everything. They are so insecure because they know they have no legitimacy.
There is however a more substantive part of Ibori’s ranting that needed to be addressed by Ribadu: the allegations that the latter requested funds for a certain EFCC football club and communicated with Ibori and a certain “businessman” who are being investigated by his organization. Ibori asserted that he had documentary evidence and should be made to produce them. One can only hope they are not the same “forged documentary” evidence he used to absolve himself of theft conviction at Abuja High Court. Ribadu should also be allowed to defend himself. It is clearly a conflict of interest if these allegations were true. But how do we know what the truths were. Ibori destroyed his own cause when he engaged in jejune allegations. We know he (Ibori) can get away with anything in Nigeria, since he currently controls the rein of justice through his hired gun in the Federal Ministry of Justice. We know he can’t lose with Michael Aondoakaa in charge, after all the latter hold his position due largely to Ibori.
It is interesting to read Ibori include our justice system in his nefarious plot. No one sane person will accuse Nigeria judiciary of the same corruption evident with our political class particularly in PDP. We know that our judiciary can be better managed by prompt and dedicated trial track, but the system works. It has a way of “weeding out” bad eggs, something we can’t say of PDP. In fact you get rewarded with higher post if you stole your way into an elective post in Nigeria, just ask Bode George, et al. The judiciary on the other hand swiftly dealt with purveyors of bad justice. Where are the Bassey Ikpemes and Ibrahim Auta of yesterday? Long gone with their name in infamy!
What Ibori confuses is that the judiciary does not commence criminal proceedings in Nigeria. The Federal Ministry of Justice does and who is in charge of the Federal Ministry of Justice? And as we learnt recently, Michael Aondoakaa’s law firm still have retainership from corrupt ex-governors, he is currently tasked with prosecuting.
Now, if Michael Aondoakaa’s Ministry of Justice, neglected to bring all the evidence against corrupt ex-governors before the court, you can’t blame the judiciary. In fact, we learnt recently that it took pressure from online bloggers before he reluctantly agreed to give fiat to EFCC to start prosecuting corrupt ex-governors. Here is where Ibori find comfort, he knows he can win in Nigeria and may spend the rest of his life in jail if he appears in London. The allegation that his wife and concubines whom he funneled stolen money through in London are behind bars is just an “argumentum ad misericodiam”- a mere appeal to pity. If you don’t want your third wife arrest and indicted, then don’t try and use her to launder stolen money for you. Period!
He also makes a ludicrous reference to Ribadu using Britain’s “colonial” justice system to prosecute him. First of all, I don’t think Ribadu has such powers. Secondly the Metropolitan Police department is not the same as Nigeria Police Force where personality and “who you know” determines who get prosecuted. With respect to the “colonial” connection: Is it now you realize Britain is our former colonial master? Why didn’t you check that fact when you are busy transfer Delta State statutory allocation to your British bank account? The last time I checked it was not Ribadu who kept millions of dollars in these “colonial banks” in Britain.
We know that Ibori may get away with the crimes he committed against the people of Delta state for a while, but the long arm of justice will eventually catch up with him one day, and that day will be for the people. As we say in Nigeria, “one day for the thief and another for the owner!”