With A Divided Senate, Appoint A Special Prosecutor On The Fraud Case Against EFCC
“My whistle blowing quest…I love my country more and the love I have for my country is paramount… (even) if I die today” .
These are the words of George Uboh, the Chief Executive Officer of the Panic Alert Security Systems, who has asked the Senate in a petition to probe the leadership of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, who allegedly has siphoned over one trillion dollars’ worth of funds recovered from corrupt public officials.
President Buhari, let’s hope that, like me, you come across and read for yourself a recently discovered article entitled, “SECURITY AND CORRUPTION IN NIGERIA,” delivered by George Uboh at the “Strategic Leadership for Peak Performance” Conference at the Bole Ambassador Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on April 4, 2014, with the theme: “New Trends and Leadership Challenges.”
At the time of writing this discourse, the man, Uboh, remains unknown to this writer, but he certainly presents as a man seeking for the greater good of the people and is a believer in the Buhari mission to loosen our nation from the grip of corruption.
Even if he was arch murderer or a rapist (which he is not), his reported case of mass corruption within the EFCC cannot be swept under the rug, as reportedly done by the Jonathan administration.
Mr. President, in the usual and typical manner, instead of the Senate trying to work towards the people’s agenda in regards to the Buhari anti-corruption position, the Senate is engaged in a public fight over procedural matters as it relates to the petition to probe the EFCC’s fraud case.
In a logic-based justice system, a case like this should initially come to the attention of the police but, again, there abounds organizational confusion in the policing of cases in Nigeria.
Mr. President, a case like this will die a quick and certain death because the Chairman of EFCC, Lamorde, the alleged fraud suspect, is actually a police commissioner within the Nigeria Police Force and reportedly earns more salary than an Inspector-General of Police.
Along these lines, Nigeria’s Attorney General’s office and the Ministry of Justice, which are supposed to bring corruption cases against public officials, have been described as a “web of corruption” in recent years.
Mr. President, so, what do we do in a case like the EFCC? Like your counterparts in executive presidential systems, on behalf of the people, you can send a warning letter to the Senate asking them not to continue in behavior that could undermine these allegations.
The President should impress upon the Senate the need to revisit their laid-down procedures in terms of hearing petitions and give the case the paramount attention it deserves on behalf of the people.
As we slowly move away from the Jonathan-led government with its crippled justice system into the Buhari era, a case like this should not be interrupted because of the political divide between the so-called Pro-Saraki senators and Pro-Lawan senators.
Mr. President, should the Senate find itself so polarized that a nationally sensitive case like this cannot be handled in a collaborative and principled manner, then as a matter of political accountability to the people, you as President and the one who is responsible for all acts committed by executive branch officials, should seek out a God-fearing Special Prosecutor to responsibly investigate the serious potential fraud case involving a governmental anti-fraud agency like the EFCC.
Mr. President, you should be aware of the games some in the media are playing in this case where they are preoccupying themselves with Uboh’s criminal past, which he has self-publicized with regards to a 1992 conviction in the United States concerning credit card fraud.
Mr. President, during your time, the war against past or present corruption should not be brought to a standstill because of a senatorial rift, a mixed up police arrangement or a debased justice system.
President Buhari, even in the relatively short period of time since the beginning of your administration, there is a growing reality that the Buhari psychology appears to be subtly, subjectively and boldly empowering all kinds of voices to speak up against the power of corruption in our nation.
We ask God, Allah, to strengthen your spirit, mind and body as you dig deeper into the layers of corruption within our institutions. In a psychological way, Uboh is Buhari in spirit, and one who sees corruption eating deeply into the body of our young nation resulting in millions of our people continuously swimming in poverty.
It is our hope, at least symbolically, that political leaders in the National Assembly embody the mindset of Buhari, and stop overeating, over-drinking, overspending and overindulging in the lurid pull of corruption from this time on or face the Buhari wrath through the power of the law.
Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi is a Florida based Forensic/Clinical Psychologist, a specialist in Police/Prison Affairs and a former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Psychological Association. [email protected] , drjohneoshodi.com