The political intrigues playing out between the Senate and the Executive arms of government is nothing but a shameless dance in the market square at the expense of poor Nigerians.
But unfortunately, many of them are cheerleaders for both sides in a display of Yoruba’s “Alabaru to nje buredi“ syndrome.
“Alabaru to nje buredi” is that marketplace human carrier that places other peoples’ loads on his head. He forgets that each time he is eating bread, he is actually eating the skin of his own head. Very deep.
While Ribadu reigned supreme at EFCC, he exercised a lot of power at the permission and pleasure of President Obasanjo. No toes too big for him to step on.
So when Obasanjo left office and Yar’Adua became the President, one of the first assignments of the very corrupt cabal that sponsored Yar’Adua to office was to get rid of him.
Enter Ibori and Saraki who both had major cases under investigation with EFCC. They instigated the administration of Yar’Adua to “promote” Ribadu out of relevance. The way Justice Katsina-Alu promoted Justice Salami and Obasanjo promoted
Okonjo-Iwealla out of relevance. They promoted to Assistant Inspector General of Police and sent him on a course to Kuru to go and collect what Yoruba people called “Arodan” (a non-existent material)
Ribadu made an attempt to resist them, but he was eventually run out of town and sent to exile.
The duo of Bukola Saraki and Ibori brought the “good girl” in whom they are well pleased, Farida Waziri, to head EFCC.
The Officer that was in charge of investigating the allegations of fraud and money laundering against Saraki at the time was Ibrahim Magu. The current Acting Chairman. He was described as a fine and uncompromising officer. He allegedly resisted the pressure from his boss Farida to drop the investigation of Saraki’s case. When he refused, he was roped into a baseless case of keeping EFCC files in his house and redeployed to the regular Police duties.
As fate would have it, Yar’Adua got sick and died and Jonathan the erstwhile VP became the President.
Ribadu had played a major role in Jonathan uncommon route to Presidency. Odili was the man Obasanjo wanted to make the VP to Yar’Adua. But the vicious cabal of Ibori & co had used Ribadu to drop him and use Jonathan who the cabal considered a lesser threat to them.
When Jonathan eventually became the President, at the death of his boss, respite came for Ribadu. He was able to return to Nigeria from exile. They were able to convince Jonathan that he is not safe with Farida Waziri at EFCC. Farida was accused of being cozy with criminals and oppostion. In November of 2011, Jonathan fired Farida before her term had expired and Ibrahim Lamorde, who served as the second in command to Ribadu and a Ribadu loyalist was brought in to head the organization. A new wahala for Saraki and co.
Of course, he made attempt to reopen Saraki’s corruption file by requesting that Magu be brought back to EFCC. When Police redeployment list came out, Magu name was missing. Pressure was mounted on Jonathan to intervene and he did. Magu came back to EFCC.
Somewhere along the line, the fight against corruption became paralyzed, maybe more, due to the body language of Jonathan the then President. So Saraki looked away from Lamorde and EFCC, he was busy consolidating and spreading his political tentacles.
In 2015 when Buhari became the President, Lamorde saw a new opportunity to go after Saraki. He contacted London Metropolitan Police for evidence to nail Saraki. Eight counts of fraud and money laundering were raised against him and his wife Toyin Saraki also came under investigation, the man in charge was Ibrahim Magu.
Saraki sensing danger, made his own move by getting a Senate Committee to investigate the EFCC, asking about what happened to over N5 billion assets recovered by the body. Propaganda war was raised to back it up, the effect was to ensure that Lamorde’s term was not renewed and it worked.
While Saraki was busy plotting Lamorde’s exit, other interested and powerful cabal in Presidency, like the NSA boss Babagana Monguno had other succession plans.
Before Saraki could heave a sigh of relief at getting rid of Lamorde, Ibrahim Magu, his arch-enemy at EFCC became the Chairman! Chai!
So Saraki had no choice than to go and wait for Magu at confirmation table. Information has it that those who sponsored Magu had skeletons in their own cupboards to cover up as well and Magu obliged on getting to the seat.
Then a new dynamic of power tussle in the Presidency enters into the plot. President Buhari, who has more stubbornness in him than managerial ability became a pawn in his own Presidency.
His father’s Fulani clan represented by Mamman Daura and his mother’s Kanuri’s clan represented by NSA boss Babagana Monguno became locked in supremacy battle.
President Buhari instructed that a body should be set up to investigate arm’s deal under Jonathan, Monguno insisted that no member of SSS would be involved. Only Military Officers and a representative of EFCC would be engaged.
Lawal Daura the DG of SSS was irked and he revolted, war of words and subterfuge were engaged.
The ADC of the President, Lt. Col. Mohammed Abubakar banned DSS operatives from inside Aso Rock and restricted them to the peripherals, the Chief Security Officer to the same President Abdulraham Mani issued a contrary order that the directive of ADC be ignored. Things fall apart at Presidency.
So it is not surprising that DSS joined with Saraki to shoot down Magu’s confirmation by writing a letter to the Senate that Monguno’s boy Magu is not fit and proper for the post. The Presidency played an own goal to Saraki’s advantage.
Saraki has always have his signature on fraud insurgency and counterinsurgency since coming to our political space, after he was done with killing his corporate banking world.
When Danladi Umar of CCT who himself was under EFCC investigation, was pretending to be after Saraki, the EFCC gave him a clean bill of health against his own corruption investigation. The moment he freed Saraki, they shouted fa, fa, foooul! And dusted the same file they criminally retired. All of una dey craze.
A Senate President that was put in the dock for crime bordering on felony charge of pejury did not have enough honor in him to resign and an Acting Chairman of a corruption fighting body rejected by the Senate did not have enough integrity in him to step aside. The Chairman of the Tribunal sitting to judge the Senate President on false assets declaration was himself under investigation for corruption.
Ours is a strange country.
I personally blame the grossly incompetent and confused Presidency for all the mess, right from the administration of Yar’Adua.
I am more worried about the effect of these “ijo esin“ (shameless dance) on our institution building than the personalities involved.
They may continue their “konkobelow“ dance as much as they want, but the rule of law must be respected.
The Executive has failed us, the Legislature has failed us.
Follow the law Ag. President Osinbajo. Ask Magu to step aside. Bring a younger and tougher Police Officer with a reputation to protect. Pick that fine Police Officer Abba Kyari or kukuma bring back Ribadu and watch them scampering for safety.
(C) Ayo Turton.