By Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze

We read with sadness the news of the names of about 40 politicians submitted by the EFCC to various political parties with a bid to preventing them from contesting the upcoming elections. We were particularly sad not because we thought that the inactivity of the EFCC appeared set to continue but sad because in an attempt to do something as simple as get wet under the rain, the EFCC has come out even drier than the Sahara. It is no secret that corrupt politicians sit on every corner of every building in Nigeria, no secret that many of them intend on continuing their reign of terror on the Nigerian purse. What is mind blowing is how few the EFCC has been able to catch. How hard can it be to get wet in the rain? Even Ribadu managed a few drops before drifting under Obasanjo's evil spell. At that time politicians of all ilk found it difficult to sleep with both eyes closed and for a brief moment he achieved what previous others had not - catching a thief amidst a den of them one will say. Unfortunately today's EFCC has been a politicians dream and with this latest development, the nightmare scenario seems set to remain in permanent remission, not only because of those named, but because of the ones that are not. Where for instance is Sir Dr. Peter Odili whose pilfering or rather looting of the common patrimony of the people of Rivers State is well known to all and sundry? Oh, how can we forget about a perpetual injunction exists protecting Rivers State from the EFCC on his issue and what has the EFCC done in getting him face the law of course EFCC selective vendetta is legendary. So how come Chief Barr Nyesom Wike the Chief of Staff to the Rivers State Government is in the list while the Court of Appeal upheld his appeal dismissed the charges and discharged and acquitted him? The answer is obvious. Do not play ball and you will be hunted.

As much as Princewill Political Associates (PPA) are one of the groups desirous that corrupt politicians should not be encouraged in any way near the corridor of power, we would like to see that such an attempt is done within the ambits of the law. We are aware that the attack on Chief Wike was just a ploy to destabilize the administration of Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi seeing the giant strides and milestones his administration has achieved for the people of Rivers State. Considering Wike is one of the political pillars of this administration it is obvious that Chief Wike is not the target but Gov Amaechi himself. We view such a move as an exercise in futility as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) act of 2004 never gave the Commission power to stop any intending aspirant to any political office in Nigeria. Chief Nyesom Wike defeated the EFCC in round one but the EFCC well within their right is actively on appeal. Let due process be followed on Wike and others listed in their misguided evil list. If Odili is not their friend and justice was the objective one would expect the Chief (Mrs) Farida Waziri led EFCC or at least their legal team to try and set aside the court ruling perpetually barring them from harassment of any Rivers State Government officials before nursing the idea of stopping an innocent man from contesting an election if he so desires. What are they doing rather than lazing about and embarrassing innocent Nigerians not in the good book of the Federal Government on cases they can't prove in the law court?

We must commend the Legal Adviser of PDP, Chief Olusola Oke who understands that EFCC lacks the powers to suggest or bar any aspirant from contesting any election when he advised the NWC of PDP, “that it would be difficult for the NWC to stop such politicians on the “mere suspicion that they are corrupt considering that even those that were being prosecuted were free to contest elections since they were yet to be convicted. In this regard, we expect the political parties to disregard such a list while we urge the EFCC to work harder and ensure that due process are followed and the law court allowed to carry out its functions by convicting any of those in their list so that they can stop them from contesting that is the only time we can take them serious. In this regard, we will not accept the situation where the body is used as tool of oppression against political opponents to those in the bad books of the Federal Government.

This area is where Nigerians should forever remain grateful to Atiku Abubakar for proving through the law courts that the EFCC lacks the powers to bar any aspirant from contesting any election in Nigeria after showing that he is the defender of democracy when he opened the floodgates for those the then draconian administration of General Obasanjo wanted to frustrate from contesting the 2007 general election using the instrumentality of coercion of the EFCC then. We pray that the administration of President Jonathan will not fall into such a similar and undemocratic temptation by asking EFCC to toe the path of democratic culture. This will go a long way to separate this administration from that administration. After all we must not forget that in the end Atiku who was number one on the list survived the EFCC injustice and Obasanjo the President at the time missed the opportunity of having his name written in gold. Is history repeating itself? This is not the time to be pissing in the wind.

PPA for avoidance of doubt PPA means Princewill Political Associates, a political pressure group that has its membership cut across the six States in Niger Delta propagating good governance and projecting the philosophy, ideology and principles of Prince Tonye Princewill the Prince of Niger Delta Politics as a way out of the present political quagmire in Nigeria.

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze,
Media Consultant, PPA.