Sunday, January 15, 2006

Dariye Probe - About Time

The committee recently set up by the Plateau state house of representatives to investigate the state governor, Joshua Chibi Dariye is a welcome albeit belated development. This is a chance for the house to prove that it not a pawn in the hands of the governor, who's widely acclaimed profligacy, culminated in his arrest in London in 2004 for money laundering related offences. Like his Bayelsa state counterpart, he jumped bail and returned to Nigeria. Even though his passport had not been not seized, and so he did not return to Nigeria with illegal documentation as his colleague, Alamieyeseigha had, he nevertheless broke the law by jumping bail. He is a fugitive of the British legal system, a position unbecoming of the chief executive officer of a state.

As regards the allegations of corruption and misappropriation of state resources, what the committee needs to do is clear. By matching the governor's gross remuneration over the period of time he has been governor and the alleged monies, other than his accrued remuneration, lodged into his local and foreign bank accounts, the panel will be able to prove if or not the governor has perpetrated acts of fraud.

Of course if he is found culpable, he should be impeached and made to face the law just as his fellow fugitive ex-governor, Alamieyeseigha is currently doing.

It is shameful and utterly callous of public officials in whom the general populace has bestowed its trust to let their constituencies down through acts of corruption and flagrant disregard for the wellbeing of the common Nigerian. It is even more embarrassing that they steal the money and stash it abroad going on spending sprees, cavorting about and shamelessly displaying the ill-gotten wealth. They don't just get it. They are our representatives and by displaying such crass profligacy and stolen wealth they devalue whatever respect we may have deserved from the international community, which surely sees no difference between these folks and common criminals. We need to route out these reprobates from our system. That is the only way we will ever earn the respect of the international community.

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