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26.11.2008 Feature Article

When Anti-Corruption Is Not Defined

Nigeria can't survive as a nation if her politicians continue to live with eyeservices, lies, corruptions and mismanagements of public funds. Nepotism is rife in Nigeria, and it is not the best in our country where oligarchy is battled. Many of us are still eyes-opened to know what will come out of the Power Probe, we are still wondering why a nation like Nigeria could have many unfinished national projects, yet billions of dollars are being pumped into new ones. While we are yet to calm down from the EFCC's announcement few weeks ago that the files of indicted governors in its office were missing, we were yet hit with another shocker that Nigeria's N30bn satellite has lost forever and NigComSat DG seeks $500m for two new ones. We also heard that PDP wants to build a multimillion naira secretariat while we have many Nigerians who are wallowing in abject poverty and they are not sure of where their next meal was going to come out from.

The worst for this country is taking sides by those in the various government positions and to fight corruption only on the pages of the newspapers without effective and direct measure to curb corruption in Nigeria. The EFCC is yet to be transparent with the fight against corruption and other financial related issues. The EFCC has betrayed the hope of many Nigerians starting from when the Obasanjo's bulldog, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, was holding forte the institution's chair. The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Michael Aondoakaa is yet to tame controversy. A lot of controversies have cropped up from his office mainly when the EFCC arrests any governor of his admiration.

Just on Sat 15th November 2008, the SaharaReporters brought to the gallery another open alleged corruption involving the brother of Michael Aondoakaa, Innocent Aondoakaa. We were meant to understand that Innocent was arrested by the State Security Service (SSS) on a Monday of November, and the findings against him by the SSS were not only eyesore but also mindsore. This has led to the presidency officials' mudslinging the AGF that he is an embarrassment to the Federal Government following documented and verified corruption existing on the office he engages in. Thank God for media.

Innocent who was released that Monday night wasn't given his cellphone by the SSS. The “Yellow House” head-quarters of the SSS downloaded documents in the cellphone and found out excruciating Innocent's involvement in extortions being executed by the AGF, and it was too shocking by the SSS to believe. The text messages in his cellphone showed how Innocent and his brother had “extorted funds from high-ranking Nigerians with legal cases pending at his office”.

The Aondoakaas were not the only people gulped in this finds by the report. Mrs. Florida Waziri – EFCC chair – was reported to be a companion. Reportedly, Innocent in his statements fingered Mrs. Waziri that she and the AGF conspired and received N140m from Liyel Imoke, who is the current governor of Cross Rivers State. The report goes further that this money they received was shared in an upstairs bedroom at the AGF's N0. 23 Bujumbura Street, Abuja, and that while Imoke was sought for arrest by the EFCC after the Court of Appeal annulled his election and his Immunity lost this year, the AGF provided his Guest Room to Imoke. This shielding of Imoke from being arrested was seen as a marriage of connivance between the EFCC and Aondoakaa until he won back his Immunity as governor.

As if that was not enough, SaharaReporters yet threw another bombshell that Innocent told the SSS interrogators that it was Mrs. Waziri, under the guidance of the AGF, met with Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State at theAGF's house for a “settlement” of the corruption cases brought against the governor via credible petitions. In another vein, Innocent reportedly allegedly admitted that his brother and Akpabio shared the 'bribe' money in US dollars which was brought by Governor Akpabio.

Like Imoke to the AGF and EFCC, a hand was fingered at Mrs. Waziri as the mastermind of the return of Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State in the re-run election. It was gathered that Yar'Adua recalled Waziri from London on a particular occasion to assist Sylva. She met Sylva in company in Benue State, upon her return, with Governor Tor-Suswan to clear Sylva of any financial wrongdoing.

We were fed that the arrest of a London-based Nigerian businessman, Terry Waya, was aimed at sacrificing him over acts of bribery being undertaken to sway the justices of the Supreme Court of which Terry who was an Atiku loyalist was aware. EFCC was arresting Waya and was re-arresting him?

However, we were told in that report that the AGF is not happy with Mrs. Waziri's mismanagement of his brother's arrest. And that the face-off is being negotiated for a peace talk in Benue, Waziri's home state, by the governor. Yet is Mr. Speaker to come forward to defend himself of corrupt allegations against him over the purchase of vehicles. This is how our collective trillions of naira are being looted and mismanaged by a few cabals, yet many Nigerians cry of poverty in an opulent nation.

Odimegwu Onwumere is the Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State E-mail: [email protected]

Odimegwu Onwumere
Odimegwu Onwumere, © 2008

This author has authored 586 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: OdimegwuOnwumere

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