Saraki: Between Politics, Justice And The Common Good

Last week l asked Buhari why his cronies in the Halliburton scandal are still walking free. This week, Saraki’s supporters are asking why the judiciary is digging up Saraki’s criminal cases. Justice served to one must be served to all!

Saraki: Between Politics, Justice And The Common Good

By Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

There are good reasons why Nigerians should let the law takes its course on Bukola Saraki. If that means that he will be sent to prison for a while or even for the rest of his life, Nigerians should let it be. But many will disagree.

Yet, in my own opinion this is another opportunity to start the long-awaited process of social revolution in Nigeria.

Some people may think l am naive because of my expectations from the country called Nigeria. No l am not. I am just waiting for that final trigger that will gradually or suddenly eradicate all the criminal-parents and criminal-children of the criminal parents in Nigerian politics and military set-ups. These criminals together stole our future on the Nigerian soil.

As you read, they continue to steal the future of the unborn generation.

Nigeria has a long way to freedom as l always write at the end of my essays. The decay in Nigeria’s political arena remains massive and unprecendented.

The systemic decay since Nigeria’s independence in 1960 led to misrule, emergence of criminals in government and application of inappropriate political and military systems in the (mis)rule of Nigeria.

So in Nigeria today we have a confused generation coming on the trails of the persistent wasted generations.

My emphasis of labelling Nigerian politicians as criminals will be relevant until the cleansing process consumes all the consumables. I thought we should have cleansed the system by 2009 but now in 2015 Nigerians are still struggling daily with criminals in political offices spread across the country.

The struggle to cleanse the system will probably continue even when my confused and divided generation is long gone because the confusion and insincerity traits in Nigeria seems to have become genetic.

Sometimes some people ask, what is wrong with black people? They mean what is wrong with Africans? But it is this same people who become part of government and continue with the sickening syndrome of looting Nigeria and enriching themselves and their families.

So, indeed, what is wrong with Nigerians?

Don’t look too far. Some student rulers (not leaders) from western Nigeria made a student union budget recently and made the headlines for the wrong reasons. They blew the expenditures out of proportion and made room for looting. They are just students but already criminals!

This is a confirmation that corruption and political madness have become genetic traits in Nigeria and thereby pass-able from the wasted generation to the confused generation.

Criminality, an offspring of the decayed and corrupt system is seen as a legitimate right in Nigeria. Despite our weekly shout-outs, criminality and corruption continue to fight back, in massive doses.

On Bukola Saraki there is no need to be divided on the issue.

Nigerians have always failed to seize opportunities that could lead them to a social revolution, one that could bring some measure of justice and sanity to the polity.

True, Bukola Saraki is not the only criminal in public office. Almost all Nigerian politicians are criminals. So he can feel violated not because he is not guilty but rather because the police have not been given the go ahead to arrest Babangida, Abdulsalami and Obasanjo. In addition to corruption, there were state sponsor murders under these men!

Why is Saraki suitable for arrest and not the rest of the corrupt politicians in Nigeria?

This is where every government in Nigerians has failed! This is where Buhari-led APC just like Obasanjo-led PDP is adding to the endless problems in Nigeria.

You cannot handpick a criminal in the midst of thousands of criminals. It is wrong to start with one criminal when you have the net that can pick 10, 20 or even 30 at the same time.

You cannot chase one criminal out of a million. If an arrest warrant was given say to 10 or 20 alleged criminals or murderers irrespective of whether they are in service or retired, Saraki and his supporters will shiver even more.

Handpicking criminals and selectively prosecuting them are the hallmarks of political witch hunt. Saraki’s current war will be seen as a political vendetta no matter if that is true or not.

He has disobeyed all the tenets in the APC book since his deceptive cross-over from PDP. His dilemma is right in the face of the law.

However to handpick Saraki alone from a massive pool of criminals in the system is not fairplay.

This is where Buhari and APC are going wrong and perpetrating a system inconsistent with the war against corruption slogan. Make it real, make it total and don’t make it personal.

Last week l reminded Buhari of his friends and cronies in the Halliburton scandal. Why not open their cases parallel so everyone can see justice is universal and respecter of no one?

Irrespective of the interpretation of the Saraki dilemma, my position is that no matter how long it takes the law must be able to catch up with a criminal. Let all criminals go to prisons for a long time or forever. Let it be so.

Rather than try to shield Bukola, his confused supporters eating from the crumbs on his table or from the looted funds via the Nigerian Senate and the organised civil society owe it as an obligation to press the same judiciary and the police to ensure that known criminals like Babangida, Obasanjo and all the other hitherto untouchables are lined up next.

NANS supporting Bukola Saraki is just rubbish. NANS standing behind a criminal is yet another indication that corruption and criminality have become genetic in Nigeria. The children running NANS are part of a confused generation. What a sad situation!

To be clear, we always know that time is not a factor in criminal cases. The Bukola Saraki case justifies what some of us have us argued for. Bring criminals to justice no matter how long ago they committed their crimes.

Buhari and APC should stop playing with fire and time bombs. Stop the selective prosecutions! Bring the Halliburton criminals to justice as well!

I know some people support Saraki because they oppose Buhari and they are still in fetish love with Jonathan. Some of these people suffering from political hangover will even accuse Tinubu as being behind the Saraki’s dilemma instead of asking the judiciary and the police to extend their operations to cover all suspected political criminals.

Some people oppose Saraki not because they want the law system to work but rather because Saraki went against the desire of the APC in the National Assembly.

In 2007 around december 12 the EFCC took hold of one criminal called James Ibori. It was in those days when Facebook has not become widely used among Nigerians and the awareness created by the social media was still in incubation.

I wrote a piece on the NVS the next day after Ibori’s arrest on how EFCC should continue to pick up the remaining criminals and hoping that if they do that over a period of 2 years, Nigeria will be cleansed up to a large extent anyway.

But Ibori was let off the hooks in Nigeria. Again, it makes me look naive. I am not. I just want the best things to happen to Nigeria.

EFCC has proven to be largely a toothless bulldog. At some point it was Obasanjo’s tail in the hands of Ribadu-the servant of Adamawa.

EFCC is submerged in its own corruption cases. The ICPC too.

What happened to Ibori after his arrest is now history. Everyone who was not born yesterday knew that it took a foreign country to put him behind bars. It is just like an irony because the country where Ibori is currently jailed is loaded with looted monies from Nigeria.

There have been several cases after Ibori. Plea bargaining set many criminals on free foot in Nigeria. They pay a certain percentage of their loot, usually an insignificant sum to the Nigerian government and they walk free.

Sometimes even in the absence of plea bargaining many criminals have walked free or served ridiculous jail terms.

How should we reason at a time like this?

It seems that our awareness have reached a common threshold compared to when some of us where shouting alone at the top of our voices in 2002 or in 2007. How some of us have written on the same topic about Nigeria for several years is even worth reviewing.

When are we going to have the reach we desire so that one day Nigerians can collectively see the difference between good and evil irrespective of tribal inclinations or political affiliations?

Yes it is going to be a long way to freedom if Nigerians allow Saraki to escape justice in the court of law. Let him go there and argue his innocence.

This is the way forward if we want Babangida, Abdusalami, Obasanjo, Fani-Kayode, Akpabio, Tinubu and even Buhari in the same court of law so that they can give accounts of their stewardships in office.

Saraki’s dilemma can open the door to a social revolution. Nigerians, let it be. Ask that the justice be served round and sustained.

Why can’t we see it this way? Why can’t we seize the moment that can orchestrate the revolution of the people by asking the judiciary and the police to never stop until justice for one becomes justice for all?

aderounmu@gmail.com

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The Road To Perdition?

Buhari is enjoying the rape of the Jonathan administration whilst his friends and cronies in the Halliburton international scandal are having dinner with him daily. What a scandal! What a shame!

The Road To Perdition?

Countries that are rated as best performers or least corrupt around the world do not have leaders who have declared their assets. They do not have to. They have functional media and investigative journalism that reveals anomalies in wealth acquisition and properties that are not correlated with earnings.

They have a tax system that monitors property. They have a police system that monitors private and public citizens. The judiciary works and the entire system, mostly, is functional.

halliburton

I stand to be corrected that in places where such systems operate and work for the citizens, that they are not better gifted intellectually than Nigerians or even Africans. So if one argues that Nigeria cannot have such a system after 16 years of democracy, it will be a submission to the nonsensical white supremacy or self-acquired inferiority complex.

Heads up now you Africans!

Assets declaration (especially if it is constitutional) is a useless distraction. Only a thief or one who plans to be a criminal or a system that expects criminals in government will encourage such a stupid clause in the constitution. Imagine that there is also an immunity clause in the Nigerian constitution. Is that not a contradiction?

Declare your assets but you will not go to jail even if you have stolen them. Recently I asked why criminals are the politicians we chose in Nigeria.

When a man declares his assets without further explanations on how he acquired the assets, then the asset declaration is even useless. You have a house in London. Is it your family’s inheritance? Is it a gift from the Queen of England? Did you save so much money as a civil servant or you did a business that was so profitable that you were able to afford it?

In non-abstract mathematics, answers are useless without the processes or methods to show how you arrived at the answers. Even medical research findings must come with methods and procedures.

Declaring one assets does not mean that one is a not a criminal or a public treasury looter. In a rare case that one is able to save all the excess salaries and greedy allowances that the (criminal) politicians in Nigeria pay themselves while the ordinary citizens crawl in penury, it still does not make it fair. It’s all nonsense and ingredients!

One thing that the Nigerian people ought to know is that the system of government even now under Buhari is still built on deceit, lies and obvious propaganda. It is shocking how loyalists to any government pick up one tiny detail or some pieces of deceits and mould it to extreme achievements.

Is this where you want to be as a (sleeping) giant of Africa? Seriously, is this the life you choose to live?

Nigerians need to wake up from the state of permanent slumber. They need to wake up from government-induced comatosis. For once they should try to follow up on events, activities, investigations, promises, remarks, comments and all that affect their lives.

Nigerians tolerate a lot of nonsense and they are easily taken for rides by their governments-federal, state and local. It pains so see that those who benefits from a prevailing government of the day or still looking for that opportunity to partake in the looting or sharing of any part of the national cake help to propagate deceits or to close the chapters on matters of national interest.

When the problem starts from the top, it is hard to nip it in the bud.

Buhari’s government has been boxed into a corner. It is several of Buhari’s personal friends and Buhari himself who have destroyed Nigeria such that even after 16 years of the so-called democracy, Nigeria remains in LIMBO.

Buhari is setting more bad examples of how not to govern if Nigeria is to rise again. Nigerians were deceived to think that a saint has emerged. The first test of Buhari’s anticorruption crusade was to show all his friends in the Halliburon scandal the road to kirikiri. He failed.

What did Buhari tell the judiciary? What has he been doing to the police? They have failed to arrest and start the prosecution of all the criminals in the Halliburton scandal. Buhari is rather enjoying the rape of the Jonathan administration whilst dinning daily with his international criminal friends. This is a shame! It is a scandal out of measurable magnitude!

All the Halliburton criminals that have visited Buhari in Aso rock must have gone with one message or the other. Could those messages include a blackmail of revealing all the financial mess involving Buhari when he was petroleum minister and when he was in charge of PTF? Do all Nigerian rulers live with criminal tags hanging over their necks?

Nigerians do not follow up on issues that affect their lives negatively. They do not follow up on the issues that should be brought to logical conclusions so that lessons can be learnt and life can be better for all. Nigeria has a pool of criminals now generally classified as UNTOUCHABLES.

The Nigerian media is so useless in this regard. The brown envelope syndrome is as old as Nigeria and the media outfits today are controlled by one political godfather or the other. The rest belongs to the PDP or APC-alignment. There is almost no free press within Nigeria or on the web. He who pays the piper is the common slogan for almost all of them.

There are ways to bring some degree of sanity to the government while some of us are still waiting for the ultimate political solution. Citizen responsibility and patriotism are lacking in Nigeria. Once a man is ok, the others can rot for all he cares. This attitude is killing the spirit of the country.

One man will say that Buhari is less corrupt than Jonathan. Another will say Abacha stole more than IBB. Then one will conclude that Obasanjo is their Baba. They are all speaking on tribal sentiments or based on what they or their families have benefited from all the useless dictators. I say all of them are criminals.

Until that day when tribal marks are taken off political criminals or military gangsters, Nigeria as a country may remain on the road to perdition.

Since Nigerians have refused to fight a common war for the good of all, the country remains in disunity. It remains in the hands of those who know nothing about positive governance and how to make a mighty country out of all the abundance of wealth and human resources scattered in all the nations that make up Nigeria. This is one of the greatest tragedies of modern era-that a country so blessed parades some of the poorest people in the world.

Before you forget Nigerians, please remember that a criminal built a first-class hospital in Akwa Ibom but went abroad after sustaining injuries in a road accident. When he comes back, ask him why he went abroad after building a first-class hospital in his state.

More importantly, put him and his contemporaries on trial. It is time for them to account for their time in power. Don’t forget the man who made a website for N78 m in a world where wordpress.com is still free!

One governor called Amosun sacked some teachers and educationists in western Nigeria for doing their jobs. Have the teachers been recalled? If not, all the people living in that state are fools! Their children’s future will remain in jeopardy and they may be on the road to perdition.

So many governors cannot pay workers’ salaries and they have not been impeached or even resigned out of shame. Nigerian wonder!

One governor budgeted N200 m for prayer warriors. Adamawa is definitely under a spell if that money has not been recalled to build houses for the homeless.

I recall an outgoing season of madness in Nigeria and I know that as September is running out, Nigerians are stuck with a boring Buhari-reality show. One day the members of the stain-free executive will arrive on a saintly mission as we have been told.

If they miss the opportunity to work with the lazy, money-sucking National Assembly to restructure Nigeria politically so that it becomes governable again, the road to perdition will acquire more turns.

aderounmu@gmail.com

Peddling Corruption

    By Adeola Aderounmu

Why Nigeria May Be Named As The Most Corrupt Nation in 2009

Nigerian politics thrives on lies, deceit and shamelessness. In 2009 Nigeria will probably be named as the most corrupt country in the world. The chances are high and the risk ever present.

Nigerians have been named in the Halliburton bribe scandals and the so called Attorney General of Nigeria Mr. Aondoakaa is still beating about the bush on a matter that is before the entire world. Such a silly attitude reveals a lot about nonentities in power in Nigeria.

Abacha is not alive and therefore cannot answer to any bribery accusation. What about Abdulsalami and Obasanjo? Non-invisible NNPC officials have also been named. The truth is none of these men will suffer under the short arm of the Nigerian law. They are free, untouchables and unaccountable. It doesn’t matter what has happened to Halliburton in the US, Germany or Switzerland. We are talking about Nigeria and “nothing dey happen”! “No shakings”!

Nothing will happen because in Nigeria there is no rule of law and corruption is a way of life. In Nigeria corruption is fought with mouth and on the pages of newspaper. Those who suffer from the consequences of corruption in Nigeria can go to hell! They are the over 70m people who cannot afford a single decent meal under a 24 hour period. They probably also include an additional 20-30 percent who are living one less than 2 dollars per day.

Aondoakaa cannot prosecute Obasanjo or Abdusalami or any other corrupt Nigerian politician for that matter. He cannot, because he was brought in by one of the most corrupt processes ever to have taken place in Nigeria. He was rewarded with his position because Ibori his master invariably took over the running of Nigeria when Obasanjo was disgraced out of power. Elsewhere, I have stated that this illegal regime in Nigeria lacks the morality to pursue the rule of law. I think that I have been justified.

The EFCC also cannot prosecute Obasanjo or the other corrupt people involve in the scandal. Farida is the second stooge for Ibori. I felt so sorry for those men discussing democratic license on AIT on 5th April 2009 because though they spoke the truth, they could not hit the nail with the correct hammer. They, like millions of Nigerians, wanted the Nigerian government to do the right thing but they refused to say why the government will not do anything. I have also stated that in Nigeria only the masses and defenceless like me suffer from the hands of the law

An illegal government borne of corruption cannot fight corruption. One of the guys on the AIT program named Mr. Memedu Andrew of ACTIONAID mentioned though that in 48 years of Nigeria’s existence, more than 64 trillion naira has disappeared into thin air. This according to him is equivalent to the stealing of Nigeria’s Federal Budget for 20 years!!! Then I knew I was right all along when I wrote 48 years of waste at the end of 2008

What kind of indices are used to measure corruption? I have looked macroscopically on a global level and I cannot find a nation more corrupt than Dora’s Nigeria. Sincerely, the microscopic details need to be made clearer. In a country where more than 90m of the citizens are deliberately deprived of their dignity and human rights I found no other competitor for the most devastating effect of corruption perpetrated by a clique.

Halliburton and the corrupt non-Nigerian officials have been prosecuted and made to face the music in other countries but nothing has happened in Nigeria. Yes America is corrupt, UK is corrupt, Sweden is corrupt but corruption with a face is punished in these countries. In Nigeria corruption with faces are rewarded.

If Aondoakka or Farida dare to prosecute Obasanjo or Abdulsalami the event will trigger a chain reaction that will probably lead to that cleansing that Nigeria has been longing for. It is a process that is vital to branding of Nigeria and the eradication of mass poverty. But these beneficiaries of corruption (that is Aondoakaaa and Farida) will not dare to start a process that will consume them in the end. This is part of the biggest problems we face in this country. We have no heroes!

We need heroes, we need a reaction and a system that will throw corrupt people where they really belong-JAIL. With the current perception of the Nigerian government, this is most unlikely. Therefore when the results for corrupt nations will be announced in 2009 Nigeria will make a lucky escape if she does not sit tight at the bottom of the ladder. If this Halliburton case is aligned with the Siemens Scandal, the Power Probe in the Senate and the hundreds of other probes that have been swept under the carpet, I do not see any reason why anyone should raise an eyebrow if Nigeria has no competitor for the bottom spot as the most corrupt country in the world.

I was shocked to my bone marrow when Umaru was lamenting the absence of Nigeria from the G-20 meeting that took place in London recently. I was shocked because the meeting did not say C-20 which would have meant top 20 most Corrupt Nation. I would have been surprised if that type of invitation was not extended to Nigeria. Even the hosting would have been billed for Abuja-the cradle of corruption. Really, is Nigeria a part of the global village? How could anyone one miss the purpose of that meeting in London? Did they mention Ghana-must-go bags or illegal oil rigs? Did they mention money laundering or kick backs?

Which other government in the world emphasises so much on the rule of law and due process without taking definite steps towards actualising the slogans? Obviously none! It is better to keep quiet and do something than to make so much noise and do nothing. In 2009 Nigeria, the best rebranding that can be done is to prosecute and jail all the corrupt people that we now know by names.

The next step towards a successful rebranding will be to count our votes as soon as possible. Those fake rebranding jingles being sounded across the country are actually contributing to poverty and impoverishment and any partaker in such operations is a pure enemy of Nigeria. If the money being wasted on this worthless project is used to deliver bore holes to some communities, innocent children and the fragile elderly will be saved from water-borne diseases and untimely deaths. Such people like Dora and her gang who are busy rebranding corruption can only do so because of the insanity of our political culture. For now they can carry on with their mad acts under one of the most corrupt governments known to man.

The Nigerian government will not raise a finger about these cases going by the recent declaration of Aondoakaa at the recent FEC meeting in Abuja. Even Dora appeared during the week saying Nigeria will prosecute the Nigerians mentioned in the Halliburton scandal. What a propaganda machine? These people don’t care about the image of Nigeria. They only care about the personal wealth they amass. They are in a war of “who is the richest” through looting. They care about these perishable earthly things more than the decency and dignity of their fellow country men. They don’t give a damn about the situation of the over 90m Nigerians living desperately below the poverty level.

Finally, I do not look forward to any Nigerian official denying or even crying when the international reports that may confirm Nigeria as the most corrupt country in the world in 2009. The Halliburton and the Siemens scandal, among several others are there for all to see.

If we (the ordinary masses) cannot do anything about it and we let our government take us for a ride one more time, then we must be ready to live with all those unpalatable national and international stigmas that plainly reveal the stupidity of rebranding.