Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Nigerian Ex-Governors Soup it out in EFCC Detention Cells

The recent arrest and subsequent arraignment in court of some ex-governors of the immediate past administration by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is a culmination of the much awaited show down between the commission and the indicted governors. So far the ex-governors picked up include Uzor Kalu (Abia State), Jolly Nyame (Taraba State), Saminu Turaki (Jigawa State) and Joshua Dariye (Plateau State). Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu State) and Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti State) have been declared wanted and would soon be picked up. While Nnamani is hold up in the National Hospital Abuja undergoing treatment for what appears to be a specious and convenient ailment, Fayose’s whereabouts is unknown.

It is laudable of the EFCC to make good its promise to the Nigerian people of prosecuting these indicted ex-governors. While in office, under the protection of immunity conferred on them by virtue of their offices, many of these ex-governors had dared the EFCC to prosecute them. Loud-mouth boasts of how wealthy they were before assumption of office and how no one could do arrest them were made by many. Kalu was reported as having boasted in his characteristic crassness and bad grammar to have single-handedly bankrolled the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), insinuating that he was untouchable. “If the PDP was a company, I would own 70%.” (sic) – he is reported to have boasted. Now that they are out of office and have been stripped of the immunity protection of the office they are running scared, feigning ailments and crying like little girls who have lost their dolls.

Saminu Turaki’s cases particularly disheartening, being indicted for misappropriating about 36 billion Naira. This works out to an embezzlement rate of about 375 million Naira monthly, of the 8 years Turaki was in power in Jigawa State. Kalu is currently being arraigned on a 3 billion Naira embezzlement charge, but this may grow to as much as 59 billion Naira, the total amount for which the former Abia state governor is being investigated. Jolly Nyame, who is purportedly a man of the cloth (he is a reverend), has admitted to gross acts of corruption (1.6 billion Naira so far) and offered to return the stolen monies for some form of amnesty. Joshua Dariye, who is also indicted in the UK on money laundry charges linked directly to the EFCC investigation stands accused of embezzling several hundreds of millions of Naira in his care while he was governor of Plateau state.

Chimaroke Nnamani has requested to have his 5.6 billion Naira embezzlement indictment transferred to Federal High Court number 10 in Lagos in what appears to be a delay tactic, but that notwithstanding would only be postponing the judgment day as the evidence against him appears very strong. From his purported sick-bed in Abuja, Nnamani bleats some redundant “I am being persecuted” rhetoric, albeit trite and ineffectual, in his wishful bid for vindication.

These six ex-governors who are currently being prosecuted by EFCC make up only but a minority fraction of ex-governors who should be prosecuted. Bola Tinubu (Lagos), Peter Odili (Rivers), James Ibori (Delta), Lucky igbenedion (Edo), Abubakar Audu (Kogi) are some of the ex-governors that are being investigated by the EFCC. It is only when the full complement of ex-governors involved in corrupt self-enrichment, embezzlement and other financial crimes have been brought to book, that the EFCC would rightfully deserve all the praises it has garnered locally and internationally. It would also quell allegations of selective persecution, and rumours of a pact purportedly made by Ibori, Igbenedion and Odili with Yar’Adua for the former three to cede the PDP presidential ticket nomination to the latter in exchange for amnesty from prosecution by the EFCC. It appears Yar'Adua seeks to prove his independence from the OBJ led cabal as evident in his recent ministerial picks. If this is true, then we would sooner be seeing other erring ex-governors in the holding cells of the EFCC - Sweet Justice at last for the millions of hapless Nigerians whose lives have been nothing but a living hell by the criminal acts of these thieving ex-governors and their cronies.


Nilla said...

We are waiting to see if others would be picked up.

FireSpeaker said...

Exactly!!! About 31 Ex-governors are under investigation so let us see how it goes. I only hope the EFCC is not overwhelmed.

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Wakuku said...