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These Interesgtin Times…

By Ik Muo, (PhD)
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Recently, a friend from the Kumasi Local Government of Nigeria asked me about the situation of things in the mainstream Nigeria. I did not want to de-market my beloved country and as such I simply told him that we live in interesting times. When he prodded further, I told him that the times are just interesting, and nothing more than that. I know you are wondering why I referred to Kumasi( which is in Ghana) as a LGA in Nigeria. Well, the Central Bank of Nigeria, has declared that Ghana is a part of Nigeria because while it approves PTA or BTA to anybody travelling overseas, it excludes people travelling to Ghana, and the likes. I hope nobody will drag me to Code of Conduct Tribunal or lay an 8-day siege on my humble abode because of this. But sincerely speaking, these are interesting times in Nigeria. It is an era when we employ experts in criminal history to exhume genuine or fake infractions by significant others and use it as a foundation for trial by media so as to destabilize the person and up the ante in the WAR against corruption. Some of us are spared because we don’t have enough ‘weight’ to rattle the 4+4 movement. There are also other parts of these interesting times including reviving cases that have been concluded, or remembering ones that have been conveniently forgotten or playing Ping-Pong with police deployments

I don’t know where Deji Adeyanju, a certified activist and convener of Concerned Nigerians, is now but the last I heard of him was on 21/12/18 when a judge in Kano held that he lacked jurisdiction to handle the matter and then ordered that he should be in detention till February 2019 for appropriate arraignment. That was when his lawyers were preparing for his bail application and that was probably because Adeyanju was too dangerous to be roaming the streets of a safe Nigeria. But the case for which the police arrested and charged him on 13/12/18 was one on which he had been discharged and acquitted by the Kano State High Court following a lengthy trial that lasted between 2005 and 2009. Meanwhile an Abuja High court had also ordered his immediate release. Both the order for his detention and release where made the same day but my interest is that the matter in question was settled 10 years ago!

Doyin Okupe, the medical doctor who threw his stethoscope into the South-Western version of the Sambisa Forest(so that it can’t be traced) and embraced politics Nigeriana is currently the media adviser to the Director General of Atiku Presidential Campaign Organization, . Okupe received some strange visitors on 8/12/18 and paid them a return visit on 10/12/18 were he was served 59 count charges and detained, all in connection with an offence for which he was investigated and cleared by EFCC in 2016 and this is in connection with his role as a media adviser to President Jonathan. We all know when Jonathan left Office! By the way why do these prosecutors or persecutors file 100 count charges; why not make it one or two concrete and winnable cases? Let’s I forget, when the over-officious DSS harassed Dr Okupe at the airport sometimes ago, it was the EFCC that wrote a testimonial to DSS , assuring that there was nothingincriminating against him and has been cleared of all allegations. He was officially arraigned on 14/1/19.

Dino Melaye, different things to different people, requires little introduction. He has been in the headlines more because of what the police authorities had done with or to him, and probably for dropping some chart-busting singles than his senatorial responsibilities at Abuja. He is still a serving senator, who holds a gold medal for surviving an orchestrated recall attempt, is campaigning for another term in office and is a key advocate of the AtikuObi politico-economic herbal cleanser. The police has just succeeded in rattling him out of his hole after laying an unprecedented 8day stage on his house. In the aftermath, he has moved from the police detention, to DSs hospital to here and to there. The problem? He was alleged to have shot a police man in July 2018. Of course, he first raised an alarm that the police shot at him but that is not the issue here. Where have our policemen been since 6 months ago when it happened and why are they behaving as if arresting Dino is a national emergency and a key hindrance to 2019 elections? And how can he do his politicking from detention?( he was later granted a 15-day bail on medical grounds)

In another twist, the Governor of Kano State, whose corruption video has been rested through legal gymnastics have just dragged his former boss and benefactor, Senator Musa Kwankwaso of the kwakwansiya fame, to EFCC for alleged corruption. In addition to the pot calling kettle black , my main concern in this case is that Kwankwanso left office almost 4 years ago. So why is Ganduje just finding out that he stole Government money and where was he as the number two man when the stealing was going on?

On 24/11/18, Prof Sagay told the whole world that the FG was in a dilemma over Atiku on the issue of corruption because they had no proof. Well, last week, as Atiku was Atikulating in the US, Mr Lai shouted Eureka on behalf of the FG; Atiku would face some interrogation on return with respect to the collapse of BankPHB. The operating license of BankPHB was revoked on 5/8/11( 7years+ ago) and the infraction in question was committed in January, 2009; ten years ago! Well the sharp-mouthed El-Rufai, whom I never knew was an accidental lawyer has just reminded us on Channels TV(14/1/19) that there was no statute of limitations on crimes and as such, we may have more of such cases in Kaduna or elsewhere.

Before going into the star show of this pre-election season, I wonder what can be more interesting than the fact that Bayelsa state has had 9 police commissioners in the past 3 months! I mean NINE! In effect, a police officer would report, hold a valedictory meeting with his predecessor and while he is studying the handover notes, he would be redeployed. The 9th CP is Mr Aminu Saleh and the governor believed that this turnover was because his state is so comfortable and serene that people are scrambling to work there but hoped that he ‘won’t have cause in the next couple of days, weeks or months to receive another Commissioner of Police’. There was also the interesting case of Lagos where the CP refused to go on transfer or was asked maintain the status-quo antebellum or whatever!

Now, in what has been described as unprecedented and premeditated, the Federal Government, which undertook ill-advised midnight operation against some judges earlier on and which had unsuccessfully arraigned the head of the Nigerian legislature, has just arraigned the head of the Nigerian Judiciary, Justice Onoghen before the Code of Conduct Tribunal, over something that was done or not done between 2005 and 2016, and is among other things asking the CJN to vacate office. The learned gentlemen have been throwing big words and phrases about since then but one has referred to it as prosecutorial misadventure while another has called it idiotic! But I am interested in other wonderful aspects of this case. The petition was written on 7/1/19 Mr Aghanya, Buhari’s aide between 2009 and 2011, the pioneer National Publicity Secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change and also a founding member of The Buhari Organisation. The petition got to the CCB on 9/1/19, was served on the CJN on 11/1/19 and he was arraigned on 14/1/19!. Excellent; I never knew we still have such effective and efficient institutions, operating at such supersonic speed in Nigeria; I will recommend them for National Honours! And at the head of the star-studded cast of this drama of the absurd is Danladi Umar Chairman of CCT, who is still on his duty post despite the case of corruption ( CR:109/18)hanging on his neck, and who last year, struck out a similar case against Justice Ngwuta because “ any allegation of official misconduct will first have to be referred to the National Judicial Council to the exclusion of any other body, court or Tribunal’’

The charge was signed by two senior lawyers at the CCB, Musa Ibrahim Usman and Fatima Danjuma Ali and announced by the spokesperson of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Ibrahim Alhassan and prosecuted by Aliyu Umar,SAN.As the one and only Zeburudaya would exclaim: are you see what I am saw! And on top of that, a presidency source swore that the President was shocked at the development because he had no knowledge of the CCT-CJN show of shame. The source attributed it to 5thcolumnists, probably, those who also probably organized the invasion of the NASS by DSS. Few days later, Yemi Osinbajo, Professor of Law and RCCG Grade A pastor, swore that PMB had no prior knowledge of the charade! I did not believe the first anonymous source by I believe the VP because he is a pastor and because he is a comrade.

But beyond politics Nigeriana and related matters, other evidences of interesting times also abound, and some are even beyond Nigeria my country. In Ekwulobia, Anambra State, a youngster committed an alu-kwo-nwa( abomination of the highest order) when he publicly fought and beat up a masquerade-in the very before of the public. Masquerades are spirits who usually spring up from ant-holes and disappear into the same holes after fulfilling the objectives for which they appeared. That was a sacrilegious act that could not have been imagined a few years back. And funny enough the matter, whatever it was, was settled with N20! In a related case, an Indian Lawyer, Dinesh Parate went into unmitigated rage and slapped a Bombay High-Court senior civil Judge, K R Deshpande for delivering a judgment that did not go in his favour. This happened outside the lift in the 7th floor of the Nagpur District and Sessions court. Unfortunately for him, while the case of young man who fought the masquerade might be left for the spirits to handle, his case was automatically taken over by the police and he would be probably arraigned before the very Judge he slapped!

If these are not evidences of interesting times, then, tell me what is!

Other Matters
159 Nigerian police officers assigned to African Union Mission in Somalia have just been honoured with certificates and medals for exemplary performance. The colourful ceremony was presided over by Major General Fiza Dludle, head of mission( Guardian, 13/1/19,p5) So, what is wrong with the Nigerian Police Force in Nigeria? Is it in us or in our stars? Any force messing up the performance of Nigerian Police Force in Nigeria…Holy Ghost Fire!

Ik Muo, PhD. writes from Department of Business Administration, OOU, Ago Iwoye. 08033026625, [email protected] , [email protected]