Nigerian Untouchables? (1) Orji Uzor Kalu

Adeola Aderounmu

The EFCC gave us some tips in the heat of the 2007 selections. They told us that only one man named Umar was a little corrupt compared to the other 35 governors we have in Nigeria. It was to justify his choice as the anointed one. It is therefore still very surprising that this man became their president in a criminalized fashion that had since rendered the American Rambo and our own Shina Rambo as toddlers in the hall of fame of criminals. More than 6 months after the charade and shameful parade, you can count on your fingers the number of governors that have seen the wrath of the law. Many of them are enjoying their loots after plea bargaining and some have not even been answerable at all for crimes against humanity. That Fayose and Ibori are been investigated and detained at this moment is a far cry from the expectations of millions of Nigeria. But you can say half bread is better than none.

What is good for the goose is also good for the gander; more than 100 million Nigerians will feel good if Kalu, Tinubu, Obasanjo, Babangida, Atiku, Odili and the rest of the corrupt pack can also spend their Christmas and New Year behind bars. Ibori is down, let’s stop hitting him below the belt, that hurts! Let us also stop being bias as to who will choose to punch so hard and who will spare as no-go-area. A thief is a thief!

Orji Uzor Kalu is a man whom some people can support to any extent possible. Take a quick rundown of certain comments on the web and then you’ll know that Judas is a saint. It is appalling! Sometimes, I wondered if the heat would have been off Ibori’s head if he had established an additional newsprint called The Moon or if he could cough some dough to some whiz kid to run online news at rainforestreporters.com . At least, the heat would have had a divergent effect. He was so busy buying all the perishable things of life that he refused to learn from the best. No one should look further for the traits of an ex-convict.

Kalu became the governor of Abia State in 1999 at the age of 39. His antecedents as a successful business man and his alleged achievements as a governor were treated in details here . However, controversies surrounding his academic qualifications and performance as a governor made serious headlines too. On one occasion, Uche Nworah (ABU) had this to explain on the performance of the governor . And on Wikipedia, which is not my favorite place for information, questions about his PhD and BSc were treated. I am not in a position to determine the authenticity of the information .

During the third term bid of Obasanjo, Kalu, a man who was later accused of stealing more money than any other civilian governor in the history of Nigeria was very outspoken and he was daring to confront Obasanjo. In Kalu words, “There is massive fraud in the Presidency and nobody is talking about it." . At that time, EFCC had become a tool in the hands of Obasanjo and the agency was used to torment the opponents of the third term bid. In the course of written and unwritten history, this erroneous decision by Obasanjo as a tyrant will never be forgiven. The reason being that until that time, Nigerians were unanimously happy that the EFCC is a much needed organ to scrutinize thieves and ex-convicts aka politicians in Nigeria. That error has brought k-leg into the activities of the EFCC and till this moment, EFCC has never been the same again! The consequences cannot be treated in details here.

All the same, the error of the EFCC or the misdemeanor of Obasanjo or not, the EFCC told us that they have evidence to prosecute Orji Uzor Kalu and his likes. They named Tinubu along with him. Hence, on the 10th of October 2006, the EFCC undertook what easily went as its single largest crackdown on corruption in Abia State" . The crackdown even involved Kalu’s mother!

Ribadu told the then Senate that Kalu’s Abia State topped the list on the corruption table, not just because the name is first in alphabetical order, but indeed. He alleged that corruption in Abia State spanned three generations of the governor, including the former governor’s mother and daughter. To elaborate, On Abia State, he said: "Abia is number one not because it is number one alphabetically but because we have one of the biggest established cases of stealing, money laundering, diversion of funds against Governor Kalu," adding that the governor used his mother, daughter, wife and brother to divert N35 billion to build his business empire, including Slok Airlines, Slok Pharmaceuticals, and a newspaper house. This is a very strong statement coming from Nuhu. It is not an ordinary allegation and Kalu has every moral justification to clear his name and that of his family. In the end, if Kalu turns out to be innocent, he should be suing Nuhu’s ass up to hell. Whichever way you look at it, these are issues that span beyond Obasanjo’s third term imbroglio or a mere attempt to tarnish Kalu’s political ambitions.

The arrest of Kalu on the 11th of July 2007 did not come as a surprise to anyone keen on the realizations of the threats that Ribadu had dished out times without number. Those of us in this category of Nigerians expected 35 governors to be in custody on May 30 2007. If the slowness accompanying this illegal regime is rubbing on EFCC, then we are in for one of the longest (marathon of) prosecuting acts in human history. Two governors in jail in 6 months imply that 4 will go to jail in one year. Therefore it will take the next 9 years to finally finish putting all the governors in jail. Can Nigerians afford the wait for this kind of slow poison regime? When then will all the former presidents, head of states and other corrupt public officers and politicians finally land in jail?

Kalu as we are made to believe is out on bail and the AGF took over the case in a manner that is subtly violent . It seems the case file continues to dangle back and forth between the office of the AGF and the EFCC. Anyhow, honest Nigerians are happy that Ibori and Fayose are not examples of sacred cows any longer. Where is Dariye? We hope that the law is allowed to take its full course and if these men are willing to speak, let it be. Let them tell us what they gave to Obasanjo and Yar Adua or how they simply connived to spread hunger, poverty and penury on a large scale. If there are other complications, they have the right not to remain silent; Nigerians want to know the truth. We want to learn from history. Let them pay for the crimes that they have committed and let the others who are in similar situations begin to brace up for the challenges of the days ahead. We don’t want to be disappointed with another round of plea bargaining! It was Ibori yesterday and Fayose today. Who says tomorrow cannot belong to Kalu or Tinubu?


Next on the list is Tinubu. Like Dariye, Ibori and Fayose, Tinubu also challenged Nuhu Ribadu and his EFCC. We know where some have ended up today. How will the EFCC brace up to the Tinubu’s challenge?

Watch out for The Untouchables (2) with Bola Ahmed Tinubu.


References: The Guardian Newspaper, Wikipedia, the Nigerian Village Square and Orji Kalu dot com.

Let every man who hopes to remain free continue to be a slave to the law!

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4 thoughts on “Nigerian Untouchables? (1) Orji Uzor Kalu

  1. call them the movers and shakers of the society. it pussles me when they play their games. no man in obasanjo”s regime can claim to be free from embezzlement and mismanagement. they are all looters. they should all face trial and sentenced to death. they are the cause of crimes in the society. the youths are nolonger productive,they all want to go on exile. they nolonger believe in the great country nigeria.i am pretty sure all our nationlist will be angry their grave. my mind bleeds.

  2. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Nigeria: The Untouchables

  3. Pingback: links for 2007-12-21 « Chatquah and Galoshes

  4. Hello, from Toronto, Canada

    Just a quick hello from as I’m new to the board. I’ve seen some interesting posts so far.

    To be honest I’m new to forums and computers in general 🙂

    Mike

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