Monday, September 11, 2006


It is unclear what Akinsanya Juliuson was trying to say in his special feature of September 11, 2006 on the website, titled: - “NUHU RIBADU: LET HE WHO IS WITHOUT GUILT CAST THE FIRST STONE.” The article, from my perspective, was a Hodgepodge of banal Nigerian sayings and incoherent ramblings and philosophizing of what appears to be Juliuson’s perception of life.

Was Juliuson trying to make allusions to the EFCC chairman’s conduct in his execution of his duties? Was he extolling or excoriating them? From the title, one may deduce that Juliuson was probably doing the latter, but like the typical Nigerian politician, Juliuson was cryptic in his pronouncements, which were interspersed with “biblical rhetoric” to suffuse some element of piety in the write up. He claims that he does not judge people, but Juliuson’s article seemes to be warning the EFCC chairman to tone down his activities or face some damnation. “Man is such a harsh judge. We so readily want our own indiscretions and mistakes to be over looked, but seldom are willing to overlook someone else's. Why does it sometimes seem as if we revel in the chance to find fault in others? Is it because we feel better about our own shortcomings when we compare them to those who are more obviously flawed?” Juliuson writes. Is he making reference to Ribadu’s knack for saying it as it is not caring the “status” of the person under investigation?

Juliuson also continues: - “Honesty is not the best policy in Nigeria of today. Sensitivity is. Some people are born insensitive, some achieve insensitivity and others have insensitivity thrust upon them. This is not the right quotation. But I am sure we all know why I make that remark now. We are dealing with several silly someones, several brood of vipers.” Obviously Juliuson condones dishonesty, acts of criminality and gross corruption that the EFCC is trying to excise from the Nigerian polity. Juliuson should know that the law is no respecter of social status. Criminals, regardless of their status are prosecuted if investigated and found wanton. One thing Juliuson must understand is that as a commission set up to combat corruption, the EFCC has the statutory obligation to prosecute all those found to be wanton in their investigations. All the commission does is argue the case before a judge, who, based on the evidence provided by the commission, and the argument of put forth by the defendant decides the case.

It is true that the default in law is "innocent until proven guilty" and this is upheld by the prosecution process followed by the EFCC. But that aside, come on Juliuson, how much is the salary of these so called “persecuted” that they live the profligate lifestyles that they lead? Alamieyesiegha’s salary as governor was not denominated in pounds and dollars, and even if it was, it was hardly so much so that he could afford to keep one million pounds in the house he bought in London only a few years ago when he became governor. Besides, Alamieyeseigha was apprehended by the British police, an unbiased and autonomous organization.

If the Atiku/Adenuga case is what sparked Juliuson’s article, let it be known that the case is connected to the US congressman, Jefferson’s saga, which has been under the FBI investigation for a while now, and that the evidence provided in the report was collated through an international joint effort between the FBI and the EFCC. It is no secret that Adenuga (purported whiz kid) has been a conduit through whom a number of Nigerian present and past leadership have funneled funds looted from the coffers of Nigeria since the mid 1980s.

To use one of the banal Nigerian sayings that Juliuson omitted in his incoherent write-up, “let us call a spade a spade.” The EFCC has been doing an excellent job since the young man; Ribadu has been at the helm. The commission deserves, from all Nigerians, the highest praise and respect. The most tendered reservation people have of the commission is that it has gone after some highly placed members of the society, and that these folks do not deserve to be investigated and interrogated. Well, if there is some question about the source of wealth of these individuals, particularly if their gross remuneration while they held government positions are insufficient to afford them their level of wealth, investigating them is the only way to clear up the discrepancy.

The one thing that Juliuson seemed to get right is that the EFCC chairman, in his stoic and committed manner of delivery of his duties, is putting himself and family at great personal danger given the degree of influence and vindictive capabilities of the individuals he is going after. But this is the hallmark of a brave and valiant man in the battle against corruption. By being reticent and condoning depravity and corruption, and sweeping it under the carpet, as recommended by Juliuson, the EFCC or any other agency charged with the job of combating corruption would be tantamount to selling its soul, as Juliuson seems to have done in the name of his incoherent and grossly erroneous notion of what he thinks “decorum” should be.

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