By Felicia Obasa-Adejuwon
Abimbola Adelakun’s opinion ‘Osinbajo confirms Buhari’s impotence’ in The Punch newspaper got me laughing until I dropped a tear. It was no different from Donald Trump’s position on Climate Change, ‘a hoax’.
Don’t get me wrong, it is her opinion but its that of a kid to say the least. It is an opinion without facts and figures, and one with very little intelligence put into it.
For starters, even the ‘Father’ of all critics, former president Olusegun Obasanjo admitted in his rather long open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari that the incumbent president has fought corruption since he emerged as president in 2015.
To think that one Abimbola, would blame her anger, failings and inadequacies solely on the government is a shame and should be taken with a pinch of salt. Her opinion was very one-sided, her choice of topic deceptive and her content was very flat.
To go about saying Buhari has not fought corruption is a joke, a big one at that. Even kids in Nigeria could not help laughing when the former PDP spokesman, Olisa Metuh turned up in court on a stretcher and wheel chair. The anti-corruption fight by Buhari had made him sick.
But he’s not the only one who has fallen ill or has been down with some form of ailment or disease since Buhari’s anti-corruption began.
Add to the list, former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode; former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke; former minister of finance (state) Nenadi Usman; former NNPC GMD, Andrew Yakubu; former Chief if Air Staff, Umar Dikko; former head of service Stephen Oronsaye; former special adviser to Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta Affairs, Kingsley Kuku to mention a few.
That does not include those who have fled the country like the former minister Diezani, Comptroller-General of Nigerian Customs Service Abdullahi Dikko Inde and others like him.
If Buhari have failed to fight corruption, how exactly was Ibrahim Magu, acting EFCC chairman able to state categorically that the agency recovered a whooping N473 billion in 2017 alone. He even gave a breakdown of how the monies were recovered and in what currencies.
“Magu added that other funds recovered in foreign currencies were $98.2m; £294,851; Dirham 443,400; and South African Rand 70, 500.”
He told the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes that final forfeiture of N32bn and $5m recovered from the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, had been secured for the Federal Government.
He added, “Recovery and final forfeiture of N449m discovered at Legico Plaza in Victoria Island, Lagos. Final forfeiture of $43m discovered in the Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos; recovery of over N329bn from petroleum marketers by the commission’s Kano office; withholding tax recovery of over N27.7bn from banks; recovery of over €6.6m from the Nigerian Port Authority; recoveries of about N1.1bn on behalf of AMCON and recovery of subsidy fraud of over N4bn.”
To show his intent to bring corruption to a halt, Buhari’s government introduced a sweetener, the Whistleblowing Policy. In 2017, Finance minister, Kemi Adeosun said the Nigerian government has paid more than 20 whistleblowers since the policy was introduced in 2016 as part of initiatives against corruption.
She said the government released about N375.8 million for payment of 20 whistleblowers who provided information that led to the recovery over N11.6 billion. If that is not fighting corruption, what is?
To refresh your memory, I will mention some corruption cases that took place during Buhari’s administration while you were sleepwalking.
Patience Jonathan – The former first lady claimed ownership of five Skye Bank accounts with billions of naira deposited in them. She even went to court to order the EFCC to un-freeze the bank accounts, adding that it was a violation of her fundamental human rights. But there’s a new sheriff in town, President Buhari, the anti-corruption fighter. You can Google how that story went, that’s away from hanging out with Peter Pan.
Many have falsely claimed that Buhari’s anti-corruption fight have been directed solely at the opposition but even the Senate President, Bukola Saraki is caught in the web of his cleansing campaign. Saraki is still facing the law for false assets declaration. Saraki tried to fight it but the Supreme Court dismissed Saraki’s application challenging the jurisdiction of the CCT to try him.
And there is Sambo Dasuki. The former National Security Adviser (NSA) was said to have diverted and supervised the disbursement of over $2.1b to various individuals for the reelection of Goodluck Jonathan in 2015. The funds however were meant for the purchase of arms for the Nigerian Army to prosecute its war against Boko Haram.
Alex Badeh has also been tried for anti-corruption given his role in plundering the country. The former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) bought a N320m house for his 28 year-old son and another N260m for his first son in the highbrow area of Wuse in Abuja. The houses are just part of the many properties Badeh used the over N800m which he siphoned from the military coffers, to purchase.
The former CDS willingly gave up $1million found in his bedroom by EFCC officials at the heat of the anti-corruption trial.
The anti-corruption beam fell on Patrick Akpobolokemi as well. The former NIMASA boss was one of the most reported former government officials who stole money. Akpobolokemi reportedly looted over N12b from NIMASA, using various companies to perfect his trade. He has been forced to give up some of these monies and his case his ongoing.
Media mogul, Raymond Dokpesi was picked by the EFCC for his role in enjoying the largesse of the national treasury. According to reports, N2.1b was paid to Dokpesi by the Central Bank of Nigeria on the orders of the former National Security Adviser (NSA).
Abimbola Adelakun needs to stop living in Peter Pan’s world. The anti-corruption fight is real and I will advise that people like Abimbola and their cronies watch their back because the anti-corruption train is gliding through town.
Felicia Obasa-Adejuwon wrote in from Ibadan