Posted by News Express | 24 November 2019 | 545 times
Saturday, November 2, 2019, I detailed out the meat of the various police statements Nuhu Ribadu wrote concerning the whopping $15 million bribery he claimed he rejected while he was Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
His Nigerian statement contradicted the one he made in London. His successor, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde, in his single statement, contradicted Ribadu.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) staff seconded to EFCC, Mr James Garba’s statement tallied with Larmorde’s as both contradicted Ribadu’s.
For instance, where Ribadu claimed that Chief James Onanefe Ibori, the former Governor of Delta state’s boys or servants brought out the two bags filled with dollars and gave to him, both Lamorde and Garba made it crystal clear that neither Ibori nor Ribadu was there when they picked up the money from Andy Ubah’s house as Ubah himself directed his men to bring out the money.
Garba said that under Ubah’s direction, his boys loaded the huge but lone bag of money into the booth of Lamorde’s (Toyota) Avensis.
To make confusion more confounded, former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote in his book, MY WATCH, that he approached Ibori to make restitution to Delta State as a result of which he brought some money to Ribadu.
I wonder why even Obasanjo would have taken himself so seriously as to put that reasoning which is totally bereft of common sense into a book that he would want people to take seriously. Under what law was Obasanjo acting? If none, then why would he expect anyone not to take that as an obvious fib? Or why would anyone so incriminate himself?
Or, would that not have been a guilty plea even before a case got before any court? But in case you are asking the obvious question, if that was true, why and how did that turn into a bribe to the EFCC chairman?
Then Andy Uba stunned the world when he called all the others who spoke on the matter, liars. But EFCC lawyer, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, grandly contradicted all by saying in court that the EFCC received the bribe money from “unknown agents of Chief James Ibori.”
Unknown agents? I thought Ribadu and Obasanjo had said that the money came, DIRECTLY, from Ibori? Pray, how many versions should a single event have, if it is being truthfully rendered?
Hey, I did not set out to just repeat myself today. I recounted the essence of my earlier write-up to raise another important issue: whether morals do matter in how we evaluate the achievements of even anti-corruption tsars or graft-fighting presidents or those who pretend to do so? And, if we fail to, what would stop them from becoming not just monsters but hypocrites as well? Hypocritical monsters? Wao!
Actually, DO MORALS MATTER is the title of a book written by Joseph S Nye, Jr who is the Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. He is a renowned scholar of politics and international relations. The publishers, Oxford University Press, will not release this book into the market until next year. But its preview in the current edition of the widely respected Foreign Policy magazine annexed my interest. The book provides the ethics score-card of each American president since 1945. Most especially, the book establishes a score-card for each president’s ethical decisions.
Hmm! Does any Nigerian care about the ethics of our leaders, police and military personnel, judges and lawyers, permanent secretaries? Are our law enforcement agents ethical officers? Does it matter if they aren’t? Or back to the point, did Ribadu lie in that bribery allegation? Can his claim that he rejected a $15 million bribe stand any real test if his statements and the statements of the persons I mentioned are seriously considered?
I decided to walk this path in this piece because a few of the reactions to my article in the Saturday Vanguard of November 2, 2019, from some old students of my secondary school, appear to show that they did not appreciate the importance of the topic. In fact, two of them totally missed the whole point. Hey, the article also mentioned as an aside, some journalists at Daily Independent newspaper. I said that an MD of the newspaper approved the purchase of a newspaper printing press timing belt for N180 thousand but later cut it down to N120 thousand. In his newspaper’s management meeting of Monday, nobody asked him why he so bushwhacked the organisation he heads. Beyond that, just because I brought up some shenanigans in that organisation, he and his Terrible T Puppet Master (who runs down every organisation he touches, and who destroys every promising journalist who dares to do things the right way), decided to stop the paper from publishing my article. This reminds me of W.B. Yeats “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold…The best lack all conviction, while the worst are filled with passionate intensity.” I'm happy I have the conviction to rage against their passionate intensity.
Now, why is Donald Trump facing impeachment proceedings? He is accused of trying to pressure Ukraine into investigating unsubstantiated corruption claims against his political rival, Joe Biden, and his son who worked with Ukrainian gas company Burisma. Finish. That is not as bad as the transgressions of a president who falsified events and cooked up allegations against his political opponents or his pretentious anti-graft hypocrite who would claim to have rejected a hefty bribe when nobody bribed him. That is why I keep reminding us to discuss this issue.
•Tony Eluemunor is a seasoned journalist and public affairs analyst.
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