IT IS TIME. Part 2


April 2, 2018

Barrister Austin Okeke Writes From South Africa.

State Capture Investigations in Nigeria have start indeed. The greedy rogues are now attacking each other.

The revolution we have long desired for Nigeria may not be bloody after all.

The clique of scavengers that have looted the Nigerian treasury are now at each other’s throat.

We all know that when a pig is starved of its feeds and/or its ration thereof, it will eat a fellow pig, the prey is usually the baby pig.

The treasury seems not to be within reach any longer, plus they know that “We the people” are standing up to them, they have now turn against each other and want to eat up each other.

Their feeds and the rations thereof are fast running out.

Implosion is apt to describe the drama that is now playing out between APC and PDP.

What’s in a name? After all, they are one and the same; whether they are in different wagon or not, they basically are birds of the same feather.

What they have done was to simply replace the signage on either wagon, renamed it and rode on.

Another wagon has recently been manufactured by President Obasanjo; although it has gain traction, but the speed is slow, simply because there is not enough fuel pipe connecting it to the Nigerian treasury.

This is the reason I say implosion is the right word to use in describing the different lists of looters prepared by the different wagons; these are names of bandits that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria “the EFCC” should and must investigate.

Can one be the judge, the prosecutor, and the defence team at the same time?

We await the reaction of the EFCC. Whether it will cease the opportunity to convince the world that it is a strong institution as oppose to a strong man-led institution.

The state capture investigations and the consequences flowing therefrom should not only start from 1999 and stop at 2018.

The terms of reference that is, must go way back to the era of President Shehu Shagari and beyond, and should remain open to be amended accordingly from time to time.

I once had a chance meeting with a Mr Wole B in Johannesburg when he was sent by the military regime on investment road show, to promote trade and investment between Nigeria and South Africa.

Mr Wole B is a lawyer and a successful businessman, I have high regard and respect for him to be honest, discounting his untoward conducts of course.

With respect, I have referenced him herein only for the purposes of illustration. Otherwise I have no qualms with the way anyone conducts his or her private business, but it must be exercised within the framework of sound ethics.

His name comes up anytime you Google search for Victoria Garden City “VGC” on Victoria Island; he was the lead developer. Search further for the failed Lagos Ibadan Express Road concession, further search the new local airport in Ikeja, his name will surely pop up.

I was one of the many Nigerians that were invited by the Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry “the JCCI”; I happen to be a member of the JCCI at the time.

He went on about how investor friendly Nigeria had become since Abacha was no more, and bla bla bla bla.

As if he was talking to a typical Nigerian audience seated somewhere in Lagos. Not knowing that the Johannesburg audience comprised of captains of industries and informed consumers.

Questions about policies and the ease of doing business were pertinent, and were indeed put to him. Wole B was not prepared for a simple question such as, what do you do with the issue of corruption and the known corrupt government officials.

As a lawyer that he is, he replied, and said that the law does not apply retrospectively once there has been new policies and new political dispensation. Wow!!!

He is a lawyer and not a political spin doctor. I believe he didn’t come as a representative of the Nigerian government but as a consultant on a fixed term contract. He however spoke as one who bore a staff of office of the Presidency.

I immediately recalled my secondary school days in St Finbar’s Catholic College Akoka, Lagos, and how some of our contemporaries at the time loved “wuru wuru to the answer”

Our teachers always always find out, no matter how neat their handwritings were; they were scored naught in the process.

What Wole B told potential investors that had come to seek information on the security of their investments, should they decide to invest in Nigeria, was that Nigeria does not have laws and enforcement mechanisms to deal with corruption. The investors score him naught in the process.

His answer meant that Nigeria simply sweeps dirts under the carpet, and then move on as if nothing significant had happened.

Now, let us return to the state capture investigations and its ambit.

The likes of Wole B abound in Nigeria. They have neither served Nigeria as elected politicians nor held any public positions.

My question is, should the terms of reference be extended to include those? Yes of course.

There are worse people than Wole B and the likes of the contractors that were awarded road construction contracts, and other federal and state contracts, but had failed to perform; having collected and embezzled the contract monies in collusion with their politicians friends.

As the net is beginning to close in on the next prey-pig, let us remember the silent killers – Wole B and his likes.

“We the people” should prepare our own list of looters for submission to the EFCC for what it is worth.

I thank you

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Austin Okeke
Austin Okeke 33 posts

Barrister Austin Okeke Writes From South Africa

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