Whistle-blowing: The new oil well
By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah
Whistle blowing or in simple Nigerian language, 'Amebo' used to be dangerous and demeaning. You could lose your friends, people will find it hard to trust or confide in you or your nose might grow like Pinocchio. But the federal government is making Ameboism a very profitable business. Rat on a looter and get between 2.5 to 5% Of the loot. Very tempting .
If whistle- blowing had been this acceptable since 1999, maybe by now I would be chilling in Bahamas with choice houses in Asokoro and Banana Island.
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed last week said the policy has started yielding fruits. He said the policy had so far led to the recovery of over $151m (N46bn) and N8bn in looted funds.
He said the cash was recovered from just three sources through whistle-blowers, who he said gave actionable information to the office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami(SAN).
With the way it's going, we may not need to borrow to fund the 2017 budget. The government needs to do more on this policy. Jingles should be made in all the three major Nigerian languages and even in pidgin to create more awareness on this whistle blowing.
The police and bankers also need to be involved too. Because the alleged looter in most cases goes with police escorts to hide money in abandoned houses. So most policemen and drivers are aware of looted funds stashed somewhere by the oga at the top. There is no way you can keep that kind of money in banks without the connivance of some bank managers and officials. Also, some mistresses are aware of stashed funds.
The biggest whistle blowing we heard this week was that of the baby faced former Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, the poster boy of the whistle- blowing policy where $9.8 million was discovered in his house. Like the popular saying, dont judge a book by its cover aptly describes the former NNPC GMD. I heard he is an elder in his church, the church should do the needful immediately. If a poor man is caught stealing or committing adultery, he is expelled from the church or banished to the backseat but when it involves a rich man,the pastor will ask the congregation to pray for the rich man in his supposed trying period.
In the court of public opinion, Andrew Yakubu is already guilty, he claimed the money was a gift, indirectly a bribe even if it's a gift or bribe it's against the law to receive gratification or bribe, either way he is doomed. Still waiting for people to say it's a witch- hunt.Call it selective, persecution, witch hunting, deodorant or insecticide analogy, the war against corruption is yielding fruits and must go on.
I advise that the government should employ a plea bargain in this whistle blowing policy- return our money and go and sin no more. Because in trying to prosecute the case with our corrupt judiciary, the case will drag on for ages and trust our lawyers to find loopholes in the cases.
For now, my whistle and trumpet is ready depending on the size of the loot to expose any looter. My miracle is on the way.