Tag Archives: Opinion

[Opinion] Of Suspension Jinx In Nigeria’s Anti-graft Boss Office

Since the establishment of the anti corruption agency known as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission saddled with the responsibilities of combating financial and economic crimes and also to prevent, investigate, prosecute and penalise economic and financial crimes in Nigeria, by Olusegun Obasanjo Administration back in 2003, four high profile police officers with very vast experience of financial crime have assumed the head of the commission.

There haven’t been an eagle that lacks the capacity killing a chicken among them, but despite their crusade in ensuring that the corruption becomes a thing of history in this country, none of these four have left office without facing at least one or two allegations that will inadvertently lead to their removal or suspension from office. The latest been Ibrahim Magu.

The suspended EFCC boss who is still answering questions from the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential panel became the boss of the anti-graft commission in 2015. He is been questioned over the allegations which emanated from a report by the Attorney- General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami ( SAN ) and a DSS report which was submitted to the Senate in 2016 and 2017. Magu was accused of living above his means, fraternising with corrupt individuals, diversion of recovered funds and many others.

The anti-graft boss was also accused of insubordination as well as discrepancies in the figures of funds recovered by the EFCC, disposing of assets, especially buildings seized from corrupt politicians and others, without approval, or knowledge of the AGF’ s office, which is the supervisory ministry of the EFCC .

He succeeded Ibrahim Lamorde who was suspended in the early days of Buhari’s administration for allegedly mismanaging N1. 3trillion recovered by the anti-graft agency and also on the account that the presidency was angry that the EFCC did not take action on former Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke until the National Crimes Agency in the United Kingdom invited her for questioning.

Lamorde himself took over the mantle of leadership in the anti corruption agency after his predecessor who was the second Boss of the agency was asked to vacate office by President Goodluck Jonathan over the accusation that EFCC had been selective in its investigations and there was news of her falling out with the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke over the prosecution of cases that were brought before the court. It was also alleged that Farida Waziri might have compromised the investigation into financial misappropriation against the former governor of Bayelsa state, Timipreye Sylva.

Nuhu Ribadu, the first EFCC chairman who also set the sack/suspension record associated with the last days of anyone who has ever sited on the apex chair in the anti corruption agency’s office was not only sacked from office but was demoted from Assistant Inspector General of Police to Commissioner of Police. He was alleged to have been involved in abuse of human rights of suspects among other things and it was also believed that Ribadu’s troubles was link to his refusal to terminate the corruption trial of James Ibori, former governor of Delta state and Yar’Adua’s close ally.

As observed, no EFCC boss have been able to receive ‘thank you, you have done well’ message as they leave office, despite been an alpha-dog against corruption in the country. And the question is why is it so? This was partially answered by a source in a report published by Dailytrust on July 8, this year particularly on Magu’s saga. The source said “I can tell you that all the allegations against Magu are untrue. I see the whole situation as a power play. He concluded by saying; “Preparations for the 2023 elections are another reason they want Magu out because he knows too much.

To large extent, one will agree with the source that perhaps EFCC bosses always know too much that is why there is hardly a farewell funfair for them as they leave office but rather a suspension or sack notice. One can also say( as held by some quarters) that it is perhaps, due to the fact it is not possible to fight corruption in this country, because it seems it always fight back, something sort of a karma. But why is karma not fighting anti-graft crusaders in other climes?

Things will surely continue as they’re and the onlookers will as usual be taking the country for a joke until it finds a means of ensuring that the looted funds recovered are not relooted by those responsible for recovering the funds and the government itself.

The next EFCC boss will not be able to break the suspension jinx until the government begin to be using the recovered funds for tangible projects which will not be of benefit to some set of people but to the general public, so as to make us know that the corruption agency isn’t set up just to humble those that don’t want to be licking the government’s butt.

Written by: Hassan Temitope

Twitter: @hatdapoet

[OPINION] RAPE: When The Perennial Monster Knocks This Time

Covid-19 reports these days seems not to be news that many are eager to know how well about any longer, compare to days before now. Government relaxing the lockdown and opening of some parts of the economy is one of the major reasons and perhaps, as no cure is in sight from the lab, thus, people can’t wait forever – they have to learn how to live with Covid-19. Indeed, we have to.

Though, cases are still on the rise throughout the world and fatalities are not reducing either but the fear for the pandemic has drastically reduced as we can see in some climes where protests are on going (due to dearth of justice) in which people are no more adhering to the 2-meter apart social distance rule and face masking associated with coronavirus.

As it is in other climes, so it is in Nigeria, however Nigeria seems to be faced with another ‘endemic’ called RAPE, though it has been a crises since God knows when but the reportage of rape here and there – from the national dailies, to the online media, to the various social media platforms down to all means of communication have been very alarming. A day hasn’t gone without a rape or alleged rape case been publicised.

Like earlier stated, rape isn’t an issue that started just yesterday, it has been since time immemorial, however, the manner in which the recent ones got to the hearings was a shocker. A 22-year-old university student Uwaila Omozuwa, was gang raped and left to die inside a church in Benin. Inside the House of God? One will wonder what sort of human does that, perhaps a psychopath or person living in a society with more house of worships, but less Godly people.

Few days after the gory incident in Benin, similar case was recorded in the Ibadan, Barakat Bello, 18, was raped and murdered in the comfort of her home. A 13 year-old girl was raped by a 25 year old man in Niger State. In Jigawa, eleven deranged men raped a 12-year-old child. Then there was the rape of a 17-year-old sachet water hawker in Ado Ekiti. A 42 year old man lured another 12 year old girl into his apartment and forcefully had canal knowledge of her. The victim has been reportedly sent a message to the rapist while narrating her order. She said: “God will Judge”. This happened in Otukpo, Benue state.

Also, in Kwara state, a 15 year old girl was defiled by an alleged well-known Musician. Across the online space, series of rape allegations have been trooping in like some sort of contest. And as at the time of writing this, a corps member with the National Youth Service Corps was gang raped in Uyo by two friends when she went to their apartment to charge her phone. There are other news of minor defilement and aged ones are not spared either. It is just frustrating and disturbing at the same time as the reports keep rising day in day out.

One would wonder the reason why all what is in someone’s thought is to perpetuate sexual assault in today’s world if not psychopathy, for there is no, in all ramifications, a justification for rape.

Another thing that will come to mind is asking about the punishment for rapist, since it is agreed that indulging in the act of forcefully coercing someone into sex is an offence. It has been observed that one of the reason why rape crisis hasn’t been eradicated is because of low conviction of rapists despite the fact that the law of the land frowned at the act.

Most cases usually be dead on arrival due to lack of substantial evidence which is enshrined in the criminal code as “prove of penetration and the requirement of corroboration”.

It is high time government at all level reviewed this law and be more up and doing in ensuring that justice is been upheld whenever pressing issue like sexual abuse is been presented. Though some quarters have called for castration or death penalty as the best punishment, but that might not be effective enough as it has been tested in some places without result to show. A castrated person still has at least, 10% probability to be sexually aroused and a person sentenced to death will have no regret of his action.

Also, death sentence hasn’t been a deterrent to more perpetrators, while Imprisonment has also been questioned too.

There will be a way for rapist to suffer for their crimes, government should look into that without necessarily executing irreversible punishment. And as rapist gets their punishment, anyone found wanting in wrongly accusing someone of sexual abuse should also not go without been punished.

Government should also make compulsory provisions for the care of sexually abused victims, just as pioneered by the Governor of Ekiti State who signed into law a Compulsory Treatment and Care for Child Victims of Sexual Violence bill which is meant to augment the Gender Based Violence Prohibition Law of 2012.

Written by: Temitope Hassan (@hatdapoet)

OPINION: How To Become A Popular Cops

Mummy, I wan to be a policeman, so that I can be arresting thieves and other bad people”. I overheard a boy around 10 years old, whose police themed home dramas might have made him to dream of seeing himself as a member of law enforcement agency in the nearest future telling his mum while I was passing by on a street. I was shocked, very shocked – I hardly hear people wanting to be a police officer, they prefer other uniform security related jobs.

The boy actually gave a rather precised role of policing anywhere in the world which is nothing but protecting life and properties of the populace and maintaining law and order in the society. However, looking at the ways in which our police have been operating against its work principle over the years have alley huge prejudice about the force in many places in the world and especially in Nigeria.

That gave a little insight to why many hardly pray to be a police officer. The popular saying “police is your friend” means “police is your enemy” to larger people in the society. Reasons for this is simply because – the police notoriety defies human comprehension and reeks of outright incompetence, deliberate violations of human rights, extra-judicial killings and unbridled extortion.

I had heard people saying if corruption is eradicated in the country, there won’t be anything called police in the country – police is synonymous to corruption. Let’s assume they are not the only one here as they have like-minds-in-crime – the politicians, directly and indirectly extorting the people’s and nation’s purse. However, it seems police brutality is more rank than other crimes perpetuated by the blue-black uniformed men. If not why is there rise in police brutality in recent days?

One would think that during this time that everything is upside-down, and when everyone is trying to find new way of facing life’s reality, one would think the police too is together with the world and finding a lasting ‘vaccine’ for the virus which has eaten the body of the force up to its soul. But, surprisingly unsurprising, our police rather massively, keep pouring fuel to their show of inhumanity.

In far away America protest has been ongoing in most of its cities which resulted from inhumane activities of some cops. A 46 year old man, George Floyd, from Minnesota on May 25, 2020, died, when Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and some seconds which resulted into deceased death. The officer in charge and three others has been relieved of their duty after public out cry.

While that was going, Nigeria again had its latest unfortunate experience of police brutality in Lagos. One Musa Yakubu, 35, was injured and a stray bullet hit Tina Ezekwe, a 17 years old girl. The bullet pierced through the left upper side of her lap. She was rushed to the hospital but died two days after.

The trigger-happy policemen, Theophilus Otobo (ASP) and Oguntoba Olamigoke (Inspector) attached to Bariga Police Station have been reportedly subjected to internal discipline proceedings.

I do not want to peel the healed wound, I would have given accounts of people brought down by police that’s why I stopped at the fresh ones. The numbers are even countless.

A thorough findings on the reason why this act will keep increasing from cops who are suppose to protect one’s life but turning out to be life terminator reveals that most of these officers if found wanting in whatever investigation they might have been subjected to hardly go with cogent punishment and this is even more worsened by the fact that many people who made a complaint against police were brought up on counter-charges such as resisting arrest, defamation, and assault.

Government on its part has given less concern about the public cry of as regards to the way police are treating citizens. Drastic measures should be put in place to avoid revolts from the masses like it is ongoing in Minneapolis and police should have a rethink of their irrational and inhumane acts. Corruption is enough in making the police a thing to reckon with, brutality shouldn’t be added. Please!

Written by Hassan Temitope (@hatdapoet)

Nyesom Wick-e and His Executive Order

For those that had watched the 2014 released American action packed movie titled; John Wick would come into conclusion that playing with the main actor’s dog carries a weighty penalty, let alone having the effrontery to kill it – that’s death, it can’t be escaped. In short, it is just like matching a cobra’s tail.

In this current situation which the world is into, I recently came across laughable thought inspired by lovers of the film which stated John Wick shouldn’t have been a film, and Corona should mistakenly enter Wick’s dog, so Wick could just help kill the virus. That’s funny.

Like Wick, some personalities as well have that thing that if anyone dares to mistakenly or intentionally meddle with, the person will have to see their other eyes – it may be yellow, blue or red. Especially, if they make a rule. It doesn’t matter who is who this time, the madness for that particular thing would have clouded the part of the brain which is responsible for identification of what is right or ‘left’. Often, when all dies down, it leaves them in had I know condition.

Since the start of the lockdown of a thing, whenever there is a news of Executive Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, what will follow will unmistakably be; “lockdown violation”. In the issue of monitoring lockdown violation, without much ado, Wike owns the Golden prize.

It was Wike that was reportedly accused Deputy Commissioner of Police of issuing pass for people to violate the lockdown. Before then, report had it that the governor ordered the arrest of two Caverton pilots for allegedly violating the lockdown measures in the state, after which the pilots were arraigned at a magistrate’s court, and were remanded for some weeks, even despite Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, torpedoed this arbitrary action, saying aviation matters are strictly on the exclusive list of the federal government. There was also clip of him, himself arresting two women for violating the lockdown order.

And of recent, he demolished two hospitality facilities on the account of lockdown violation as well. This has garnered mixed reactions all over places. So, with this, one couldn’t but conclude that Wike’s Executive Decree, slip of pen, Order, is just like Wick’s bingo is to Wick, in which no one should play with.

Nigerians are used to this kind of rulership as this isn’t the first time, a governor will just wake up one morning and said a building worth millions of naira should be brought down all because of Executive Order while we claim to be running democracy. Isn’t proper due process that is needed to be followed?

Though, Wike has responded to the reasons of the demolition and claimed that he is following the written order. And that the act was done in order to serve as a deterrent to other violators. The buildings demolished actually belonged to a card carrying member of Wike’s party. Looking deeply into this act, common sense will tell that Wike is up to something more bigger, so, those residing in the state, especially the opposition party members should be extra careful.

However, someone should tell the Rivers governor that, Lagos State which is been affected most by this pandemic is keeping cool with governance, so are other states. They are not committing blunders as we have it in Rivers. Mobile courts are been utilized in order to execute what is enshrined in the lockdown order. And he should remember that he is an elected leader, thus, he should stop acting like a uniform one.

Written by: Hassan Temitope (@hatdapoet)

Abacha In Trillions Before Unknown Looters

On a lighter note, if we are to pick up our counting device and do some mathematics to know the worth of the popular Abacha loot, sorry, assets, as said by our amiable Attorney General while announcing the newest of the funds in our local currency (Naira), don’t you think it will be enough to start a new Nigeria?. After all the lockdown has awaken the spirit of mathematics in us. It has made us to know the number of sticks that made up a Dangote Pasta, the total count of grains that made up a cup of rice to the extent that we even know that 167 tea spoon-full made up a sachet of ‘pure water’. Won’t it be amazing to know how much ‘ancestor’ Abacha had sent from grave to help Nigeria’s ministry in Naira?

Let’s get down to it, but before we go beyond the starting line, you must know Abacha, don’t you? There was only one Abacha – our former Head of State, who ruled like there were no tomorrow and died of apple poison by a said mistress sometime around June, 1988 – a whole 22 years ago. Although, Nigeria’s economy got some tush face during his administration. One of the best till date. So, indeed every good man has his bad side, so is every bad man.

Days after his death, the country got another Military ruler in person of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, he was the one who gave the directive on what is today known as Abacha loot. He ordered a probe into the looting of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 1993-1998 and at the end of the enquiry, it was established that the late Abacha stole over $5 billion from the vaults of the CBN through his one of his aids.

Most of these money are scattered in accounts in countries like UK, USA, Switzerland and others. There were many other assets in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Sierra Leone and with private individuals, friends and family, of which has already been recovered during the enquiry. The forfeited assets as reported, were promulgated into law and signed by General Abubakar on 26th May 1999.

Our concern isn’t about the established figure reported by Abdulsalami’s administration but the recovered dollars from Abdulsalami’s down to this moment. It should be noted that of all the leader Nigeria had had since then, only late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua didn’t receive any recovered funds of the so called Abacha money.

While Abdulsalami was Head of State, in 1999, $750 million was recovered. Under the Obasanjo administration, $1.2 billion was recovered in 2002; $149 million from Jersey Island, UK in 2003; $500 million recovered in 2004 from Switzerland and another $458 recovered in 2005 from Switzerland. During the Jonathan administration, $1 billion was recovered in 2012 and $380 million in 2015, both tranches from Switzerland. The Jonathan administration also recovered $227 million from Liechtenstein in 2014 and $48 million from the United States the same year.

The Buhari government recovered $322 million from Switzerland in 2017 and $311 million from Jersey Island, United Kingdom, this year, which is the most current. The one humorously called Abacha Covid-19 palliative by Nigerians.

As at the time of writing this, Naira against US Dollars is N390. So taking Abdulsalami’s time first. We will have 292.5 billion naira. Obasanjo’s administration will equal to 889 billion and 742 million Naira. While the ones recovered in Jonathan’s era will amount to 645.5 billion Naira.

And the ones recovered so far in Buhari’s time is over 247 billion Naira. Alot of the funds are still yet to be recovered as established by the Transparency International.

In total we are having over two trillion Naira, while still expecting more. Indeed these funds can be used to restart a nation but unfortunately, it has not do perhaps anything good to the progress of the country. There hasn’t been any leader that has been able to account for these refunded loots, save from the present one said would be used to construct Kano-Abuja Express way, Second Niger Bridge and Lagos-Ibadan Express way, thanks to international organizations who give the condition that if the fund is not properly used, Nigeria will have to give it back.

If Abacha was the only man who had siphoned much from this country, while will the recovered funds be going back to private pockets? Perhaps, if death hadn’t came for Abacha, his remains won’t be synonymous to a looter, just like those alive in which no one could dare calling them ‘abacha’.