Buhari, Dasuki, Kanu, Tyranny And The Rule Of Law
“When one with honeyed words but evil mind Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.”
― Euripides, Orestes
Interestingly, it was Adolf Hitler who said “To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.”
IBB’ coup speech in 1985 ” Major-General Muhammadu Buhari was too rigid and uncompromising in his attitudes to issues of national significance. Efforts to make him understand that a diverse polity like Nigeria required recognition and appreciation of differences in both cultural and individual perceptions, only served to aggravate these attitudes… The situation was made worse by a number of other government functionaries and organisations, chief among which is the Nigerian Security Organisation (NSO). In fact, this body will be overhauled and re-organized.”
There is something really weird, eerie, going on. You can say It is smoldering, or tag it a caustic cauldron on the fire place. The chef and his assistants are still perfecting the broth, eventually it will be served. Of course, we talking main course, as appetizers are being served already.
The Nigeria nation could be described as under siege as the state buoyed by similar characters who cheered Hitler on, is doing all it could to use perjury, lies, subterfuge, to enshrine, and cast tyranny in stone. Those who are warning , we moving towards the precipice are being branded rebels, renegade, bad losers, crooks etc…But the words of Robert Fanney is not lost “ Under tyranny it is right to be a rebel.” People voted for Hitler but then after it was too late. So many Germans who aided the extermination of the Jews ended up in Hitler's tummy.
Just like during the Third Reich rampage in Europe, intellectuals, working class, student union leaders, technocrats, union leaders, are being recruited to perfect the project. Take for example a Professor of criminology, Femi Odekunle “ As a professor of criminology, I am not for “unmoderated democracy”, I am not for “unmoderated rule of law” in which the rights of the individual will be so hyperbolized and override those of the collective”
This President , like Hitler and Stalin, is exceptionally narcissistic. Like Hitler, he has the capacity to see himself as a vessel for all the social and political forces at work in his world, and thus believe he is at its center. Ernest Nolte, a postwar German historian of fascism wrote “ the dominant trait in Hitler's personality was infantilism.”
Buhari's obsessive sense that he embodies all the aspirations of Nigerians, allows him to present himself as the savior he believes himself to be. Buhari is not bothered about how to convince his opponents or critics that he is right, but address those who are inclined to agree with his facts and reasoning in order to confirm and strengthen their beliefs.
In the heat of the last presidential election, Buhari blurted at one occasion “ If you steal government money, you will be locked up in prison” Some laughed it off, others said the man assumed he was in 1983. They contended that you cannot just lock a suspect up without trial. They argued, he forgot there is rule of law, judiciary, national Assembly etc. But I took him seriously. I had studied his personality traits so I do not wave away his remarks. Just like he said on national television with anger that Sambo Dasuki, and Nnamdi kanu do not deserve bail.
When Buhari got to the United States he played nice. He assured the US, in his anti corruption crusade, war against terror, respect for human rights would be sacrosanct. They clapped. I was not fooled. He returned , settled down, and his fangs came out. This was what informed an article by a US attorney, Bruce Fein, published in the Washington Times titled “ Nigeria President Buhari Dupes the US”. Irked and frustrated by Buhari's usurpation of the role of the judiciary, disregard for court orders, violation of citizens rights, wrote “ After celebrating fairness, due process, and the rule of law, last July to win the goodwill of the United States, Mr Buhari returned to Nigeria to mock all three in a vendetta against Dasuki, the immediate past National Security Adviser.
Cardinal John Onaiyekan spoke in same vein “ we have to tackle dishonesty, retrieve stolen monies, but we must do it within the ambit of the law, with respect for human rights sacrosanct so it does not look like persecution”
Just like the revered cleric, Nigeria citizens are 100 per cent behind any leader who is serious about rooting out corruption. It hurts when we look at how much we have made since independence, how much went into the pockets of thieving government officials viz the decay in the areas infrastructure, standard of living etc. I will break no tear for any official or individual whose hand in caught in the cookie jar.
But we must be careful we do not arrest first before we investigate. In the US, investigators, law enforcement do due diligence. Financial crime is one area the FBI is very good at. Once you have top forensic experts, follow the paper trails, transfers etc, you the perpetrator is dead duck. They will present their findings to the District Attorney (DA), who goes through, asks questions, you must convince him first. In some cases the DA will proceed to the Grand Jury, where your evidence is tested again before you go to court.
In Nigeria, the EFCC, DSS arrest you, lock you up, then start looking for evidence. They hurriedly put it together, in court it falls flat. In so many cases, they present a case in court, pleas taken, defence push for bail, Judge says okay. You step out , the pick u up again Gestapo style. Sambo Dasuki, Nnamdi kanu, Olisa Metuh, Jafaru Isah are the high profiles who are being locked up without bail nor appearance in courts. As I type there are no fewer than 25 Nigerians accused of graft being held in cells, by Buhari's Gestapo, while they go seek for evidence.
The new fad by this “regime” is pick you up, intimidate, harass you for 48 hours, then proceed to court to get approval to hold you longer between 14 and 30 days. During Metuh's case, EFCC's cousel, C.O Ugwu told the Judge this “ we need the suspect in custody so as to aid us in our investigation, so we have come with this application to respectfully apply for an order of the Honorable Court authorizing is to keep him in custody” It was granted. 14 days given.
There is no doubt that Buhari has introduced his infamous Decree 2, through the back door. Two cases, Dasuki's , and Kanu's exposed the inner recess of Buhari and how bitterness and vengeance has made him not see the implications. Revered Vanguard's columnist, Dele Sobowale, in his “ Frankly Speaking wrote “ After Dasuki secured permission of the courts to travel for medical treatment, the DSS laid siege to his home to prevent him from leaving Nigeria. Is this democracy…To justify their vendetta, they then unleashed on the nation the wild accusation that Dasuki defrauded the country of $2 Billion in armans deals. Like all Nigerians I was alarmed . Two Billion dollars (N400bn at N200/USD1) or (N540bn at N270/$1) is a lot of money and anybody stealing that should be hanged. But, unlike most Nigerians, I waited for the DSS to prove that N400bn or N540bn had been stolen. Under our laws, he who asserts , must prove. If they claim $2bn was misappropriated they must total up all the funds missing to that number. It will amount to the wildest exaggeration to tell us that people are being prosecuted for N31 Billion after alarming us with N400bn-N540bn”
Meanwhile, it is necessary to point out that not all funds in ONSA are meant for arms procurement. As you are aware, under its Special Service Office (SSO), funds are expended on training, espionage, communication, special interventions for special causes including NGOs. One of the successful programmes under ONSA is Soft-Approach to countering terrorism, of which deradicalization without the use of force through economic empowerment, education, communication, rehabilitation and counselling were part. The Presidential Initiative on North-East (PINE) was conceived from the Soft Approach.
Troubling thing is despite the fact that the EFCC has no evidence, Dasuki diverted any cash for personal use, every disbursement got approval, he is being kept.
On Kanu and El ZakZakky Sobowale wrote “ The treatment meted out to Mr Kanu, even after being granted bail by a competent court of law can only be excused in a country ruled by the Gestapo. So far the DSS has not been able to establish any major crime against Kanu to warrant his detention and their opposition to bail…the over-kill adopted by the Army in Zaria against the Shiite Muslims is another example of exaggerated threat leading to inappropriate response likely to deepen the crisis”
Mr President has made it crystal clear we in for a long ride as bail, is at his discretion. He has not minced words, and his two axe men, Ibrahim Magu and Lawal Daura, are doing very well in context of the script., just like Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, is holding forth at the Appeals court. Fellow Nigerians it is going to be a long night I guess, and with the planned 9 million man march for Mr President, I say fasten your seat belt.
I close with Femi fani-Kayode, who, in his letter to Buhari said “ You must understand that any leader or government that is motivated by bitterness, fear, hate, vengeance and malice will eventually hit the rocks and crash like a pack of cards. You must appreciate the fact that God is watching and that He sees all and knows all”
Written by Churchill S. Umoren.