Right of Reply: Re- Presidency Clears Customs D.G
I just read with amusement the story carried as a lead report in the Nigerian Compass on Sunday, October 4th, 2009, titled “Presidency Clears Customs C.G.”. The report is not only false, it is deliberately concocted by some desperate elements
intent at a grand cover-up and it is designed to deceive the Nigerian public. The said report flies in the face of the following facts:
1. It is extremely ridiculous to suggest that an investigation of an allegation can be carried out without calling on the accuser to substantiate the allegations. Till date, the Presidency has not directed any of its security agencies to investigate the allegations and as such Mr. Olajide Ibrahim (the complainant) and myself have not been invited for any clarification.
2.The Presidency or any law-enforcement agency have not issued any formal statement clearing the Customs C.G or even stating that an investigation is been carried out.
3. In any case, and in specific terms, the Presidency should tell the whole world what its findings are regarding the following:
a) WAEC Certificate No. 37836D allegedly obtained by Dikko in 1980 from the Government College Kaduna. Does that Certificate belong to him?
b) Certificate No. 10912 and 10993 allegedly obtained from the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) in 1995. Does NIM have records of these certificates belonging to Alh. Dikko?
c) What are the findings regarding the Higher Institute of Finance and Economics that Dikko claims to have attended in Bulgaria?
4) On the alleged “discrepancies” in the Affidavits sworn to by Olajide Ibrahim, nothing can be farther from the truth for the following reasons:
a) Olajide Ibrahim stated clearly that he was undergoing his NYSC programme in 1995 at the NIM when he first met Alh. Dikko. It is therefore nonsensical to think that NIM will have his name among their staff list when he was just a youth corper there at that time. In any case, Alh. Dikko has not denied knowing Olajide Ibrahim for about 14 years now. Where did Dikko meet him?
b) The fact that Olajide Ibrahim's address changed between 2006 and 2009 is no issue at all as he confirmed that he has since gone into hiding after the harassment by Dikko began.
c)In respect of the so-called letter of apology earlier written by Olajide Ibrahim, assuming (without conceding) he wrote those letters, what is the probative value of such letters written in periods he was supposed to be handcuffed and leg-chained in detention?
In the final analysis, let me remind the press that it has a constitutional and God-given role to play in the fight against corruption in public office. We all suffer eventually when we cover such corrupt practices in high places. It has become so difficult to fight corruption in our country because the empire of corruption is spreading fast and is consuming everyone in all sectors. Let the Press steer clear of corrupt practices. I am, for instance, appalled that when it was reported that Alh. Dikko seized and burnt 2000 copies of The Premier magazine some two weeks ago, the Press either blacked it out or down-played it in many cases. May God help us!
But despite the attacks and discouragements I face, I will continue to stand tall in exposing cases of corruption anywhere I find them.
FESTUS KEYAMO, ESQ.